When the shopping, cooking and planning for the holiday season becomes overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Here are 12 easy tips to help you unwind and enjoy the holidays with friends and family. Even if you implement just one you are on the road to ease.

1. Set goals. Make a list or a plan and stick to it. Put your blinders on and focus.

2. Be sure to take some time for yourself even if it is 10 minutes at the mall to enjoy a cup of coffee, watch the shoppers and listen to holiday music. Eat healthy food. Get as much rest as you can and exercise. Self care is important.

3. Reflect on what the holidays are about; spending time with those you love. Again keep your focus on what is important.

4. Triggering your stress are underlying thoughts, beliefs and expectations. Yes this is where I put on my psychotherapist hat. Discover, examine and change those beliefs. Thoughts such as, “It has to be perfect. What will they think? I can’t afford it. No one loves me,” will add to your emotional and stress level.  There is never a better time then the present to heal your inner world.

5. Breathe. Breathing is an amazing tool to de-stress and let go. Deep belly breathes release the build up of internal pressure and stress. Mellows you out.

6. Rethink your gift list. Buy only for those you feel are important to you.

7. For those hard to buy for people (I have a few on my list) choose a theme and pick up everything in one swoop. For example books, CDs, bath and body products, wine, restaurant gift card, massage certificates.

8.  Understand that it is okay to say no to parties. If you must attend make your appearance brief. Stay longer at the parties you really want to attend.

9. Eat before you go to a holiday gathering. Why? At this time of the year everyone serves rich, calorie laden foods and goodies. The temptation to overeat is everywhere. When you indulge the next day you feel bloated and well yucky. This feeling adds to your stress level.

10. Water is your best friend. Take it with you to the mall, drink up at parties, at home when you are wrapping gifts and when you are baking. Stay hydrated and feel full. Add lemon in your water for extra hydration and cleansing boost.

11. Keep old traditions but be open to new ones. Just because you have always done it one way doesn’t mean you have to continue doing it that way. Change is good!

12. Listen to relaxing music. It feels good. I love listening to Christmas music it puts me in a place of peace.

Cheers to you and a relaxing, stress free holiday.

~Love, Esther


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