8 tips to help you have a happier, healthier holiday season

8-tips-to-help-you-have-a-happier-healthierWith American Thanksgiving/Black Friday this week and Christmas too not far behind, you’re no doubt starting to experience that familiar holiday feeling: Stress.

Standing in line at Wal-Mart to get that Lego Star Wars kit for your 10-year-old; spending hours on hold with UPS trying to track down that package you ordered from Amazon early (because you were trying to beat the rush) that’s been shipped to the wrong address; hitting up grocery store after grocery store trying to find baking supplies for those thoughtful homemade gifts you’re planning to make (apparently everyone had the same gift idea); and trying to find the time to whip up a different appetizer to bring to each of the seven holiday parties you’re invited to over the next several weeks… it’s exhausting.

And let’s not forget about the guilt you’ll feel after mindlessly inhaling all the delicious holiday baking available at said seven Christmas parties (and the leftovers coworkers bring into the office after the weekend) and not being able to get to the gym because you have baking to do, decorations to put up, and Christmas parades to attend.

And then there’s your draining bank account.

Madness, right?

Well, you can stop stressing now. Just follow these 8 tips to have a healthy, more enjoyable and less stressful holiday season.

  1. Do you absolutely have to go into Wal-Mart to get gifts? If not, just don’t. Support a local store instead. Many are open late right now for holiday shopping, so you can avoid the weekend busyness. Will your 10-year-old curse Santa if he doesn’t get that Lego set? Then put some tunes in while shopping and standing in line. Dancing is encouraged.
  2. Are lost packages stressing you out? It doesn’t matter if it’s late. The receiver will appreciate it no matter what. Just remember that.
  3. Are you stressing about getting your baking done in time? If it’s not going to being something that is enjoyable for you, don’t do it. Though your family might look forward to your Christmas shortbread, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it in January.
  4. Just because you’re invited to seven holiday parties does not mean you have to go to all seven. Just pick a few you want to attend and politely decline the others. Make plans with those whose parties you decline for a coffee date in the new year. Just because it’s November/December doesn’t mean you have to see EVERYONE you know over the next 35 days.
  5. If you don’t have time to make an appetizer to bring to a party but you’re expected to bring something, just got pick something up from the store. Who cares if it’s not as “meaningful” — if you don’t have time and the thought of making something stresses you out, then don’t do it. Your company should be enough.
  6. Overindulged at that Christmas party? Good. Awesome. You must have had a good time. Savour that and don’t stress about gaining weight or any of that nonsense. A few days of eating all the delicious food out of a whole year is not going to make a difference to your waistline. But stressing about it will have a negative impact on your health.
  7. No time for the gym? No problem. Remember that all activity counts, such as shopping, decorating, ice skating and baking. Though trying to continue with your normal routine is the most beneficial, sometimes we just don’t have time during the holidays. And that’s okay. Time spent with family and friends should take priority.
  8. Just enjoy yourself. Let go of things that aren’t serving you, and make time for what does. The stress and pressure you feel is most likely something you put on yourself, so try and think about everything you do during this time of year that causes stress and simply stop doing it. You don’t owe anyone anything — your health, happiness and time spend with loved ones is enough. You are enough.

What tip would you add to have a healthy holiday season? What do you find is the most stressful part about the holiday season? Is there something you think you can let go of this year?

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