How to Avoid Stress During the Holidays

Holiday season can sneak up on you. Here are some ways to stay calm, cool and happy.

One minute you are at the beach enjoying the sun and the next, the temperature starts to drop, the leaves change colors and, suddenly, you are receiving Christmas catalogues in the mail. And you have yet to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Your head starts to spin as you think about everything you have to do in the next few weeks. Shopping, cooking, lists, shopping, more cooking, inviting family, having to spend time with family... it can be a little overwhelming.

When you think about the phrase "Holiday spirit," you should be feeling a sense of calm. After all, sitting around a cozy fire, opening presents, swapping stories of times gone by-it can all be very nice and pleasant. But did you remember the legos that little Johnny wanted? Is Uncle Bart drinking the good scotch again? Did you forget to pick up grandma Jean from the airport? Is the room really spinning or are those just the thoughts in your head? Step back, take a deep breath and learn some ways to make this holiday season the most stress-free one yet.

Make lists

Studies have shown that you can't forget things if you write them down. The very act of putting pen to paper can almost guarantee that anything you put down, will get done. And when you have finished each task, there are few things more satisfying then crossing things off of your list.

Treat yourself to a new, clean notebook and some pretty pens and start being organized. Lists of gifts you need to buy, food you need to have stocked and ready, people you need to call... just put it all down. Keep the paper and pen by your bed because when you are staring up at the ceiling thinking about all of the things you need to do, you can write them down and start getting them done.

Don't let the lists overwhelm you, take it one item at a time. When it is all in front of you, it may seem like a lot, it may actually be a lot, but you will get it all done. And remember, you will be a lot better off if you know what you have to do and you write it down and get it done, than if you know what you have to do, but forget to do it because you didn't write it down. Be prepared is half the battle.

Yellow pads

Nothing gets those creative juices flowing than when you have a new pad of paper to write on!

Z Grip Ball Point pens

This contains 30 pens, so you have no excuse if you lose one... now go start writing your lists!

Take time for yourself

In order to avoid being overwhelmed, it is very important to take time for yourself every single day. This doesn't only apply to the holiday season, it applies to every season. With all of the stressors of life, if you don't take time to breathe and relax, you are headed down an anxiety ridden path. And that doesn't always end well. Even if your day is jammed packed, from morning until night, there is always time for five minutes-after all, you still have to go to the bathroom!

Set aside a few minutes every day to do something for you. Take a walk, have a cup of coffee, inhale the fresh air. It is amazing what, even the smallest reprieve, can do for your mental health. If you have a little more time, schedule a massage, if you have less time, read a trashy magazine... you do you because you are the only you you have!

Massage chair

If you can't go out for a massage, bring the massage to you. It's like being at a spa in your own home.


You are not super-human. Though you can do a lot, you cannot do every thing. Asking for help is a big part of getting things done and it isn't a flaw in your character. If you are having 30 people for dinner, and some of those people offer to help, say, "Yes, thank you." And even if they don't ask, there is nothing wrong with saying, "We are so looking forward to having you, would you mind bringing a salad/bottle of wine/dessert?" No one can expect you to do it all, even if you perfectly capable of doing so.

If you are having a Christmas party and people offer to help, accept the help, a happy hostess is the best kind of hostess and you should be able to relax at your own party, contrary to popular belief. There are only so many hours in a day and so many things that can get done, take people up on their holiday spirit and make your life a little easier. You will thank yourself later.

Be prepared

Don't let the toy catalogues that come out three months early overwhelm you, use them to your advantage. Buy what you need early, wrap it and put it away. Take a lazy, fall Sunday and use it to make soups and holiday treats that freeze beautifully. This way, you won't have to worry about those things later on. And what is a freezer for, if not for Christmas cookies? Just try not to eat all of them before the actual holiday is upon us.

Supermarkets are constantly running sales on holiday items way before the holiday, stock up and put them away, one less thing for your list. Find yourself with a few free hours? Write out those holiday cards and put them away (in a place you will remember). 

Being prepared is the main ingredient in a happy, healthy and productive holiday season.

Get some exercise

Exercising is a great way to release stress. Whether it is a walk around the park, taking a crossfit class or some good old-fashioned yoga, working exercise into your daily routine is imperative in keeping your mind and body healthy. Studies show that getting your workout in first thing in the morning is the best way to start your day. 

Don't start coming up with excuses. In a season filled with family, food and chaos, take control and do something good for your heart. And for those 45 minutes to and hour, don't think of anything but the task at hand. Everything else can wait.

Portable Stepper

This easily transportable piece of equipment can go from your home to your office and will give you great gams!

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