Health

Five Keys to Surviving Holiday Stress

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Getting through the everyday routine is stressful enough, but the holidays can definitely turn it up a notch. After Thanksgiving and Black Friday holiday schedules kick into high gear with holiday shopping, parties, and family get-togethers. To make it through without blowing a fuse (or your budget), here are some tips to stay fit and healthy, both in body and mind:

1. Take a Step Back

Remember that the holidays are about sharing time with loved ones and, for many, celebrating your faith. Don’t let a long to-do list or gift shopping prevent you from making the most of the season. Make a promise to enjoy all that is wonderful about this time of year.

2. Stay Active

The holidays bring fat-laden and sugary temptations galore, from the hearty buffet tables at parties to the seasonal Hershey Kiss-filled candy jars at work. Increasing your calorie intake will translate to added weight. Stay extra active by taking a walk during your lunch hour, parking your car far away from the store entrance when you’re out shopping, or taking the stairs at the mall instead of the elevators. Make sure you are at least as active as you regularly are. Be creative—play a few rounds of charades after dinner with your family.

3. Stick to a Schedule

Keep track of all your obligations in your planner or your Google Calendar. Schedule appointments with yourself to research or purchase holiday gifts. Set a budget and make a list of gifts you plan to purchase and compare prices online to find out where the best deals are. This will not only prevent last-minute impulse shopping, but will also keep your checkbook under control (and will keep the post-holiday stress at bay!).

4. Plan Your Calories

There are plenty of healthy recipe options for big family dinners. Planning ahead and checking out different resources, whether in cookbooks or on the Internet, will help you make the best choices for your waistline.

5. Give Back

Give toys to a collection drive, or donate canned foods to the local food bank, which are facing an increasing need during the holidays. Doing something extra for others is a good reminder to ourselves of all we’ve been blessed with, and sometimes that’s all we need to keep a bit of perspective during the holiday season.

What are you doing to stay stress-free this holiday season?

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