10 Dec 5 Tricks To Stay Sane During The Holidays

Between holiday parties, family gatherings, travel plans and dietary no-no’s that are too tempting to resist, the holidays can be pretty hectic. Fear not: here are my top 5 survival tips for getting through stress-free. Or, as stress-free as possible.

It’s Okay To Say No

Prioritizing is key to keeping your cool and balancing your schedule during the holiday season. You can’t do everything—it’s impossible. Special occasions with family, work and friends can be overwhelming. Between holiday work parties and family breakfasts, dinners and movies (really whole-day affairs I should say!), it’s hard to carve out time for yourself.

Doing you is so important, so make room for your needs on the calendar and stay strong in sticking to them. Make time for your workout, allow yourself to catch up on sleep and feel reassured that your social network will forgive you for not being at every event.

Eat Well

Snacking on high-calorie and fattening holiday treats all day weakens your immune system, brings on fatigue and gives you that overall icky feeling. While indulging in moderation is okay—it is the holidays after all—stick to clean eating for the majority of the week.

Loading up on fruits, veggies and lean protein will keep your body and mind sharp and strong and able to withstand all the social forces pulling at you. Choose certain treats that are most enjoyable to you, and don’t waste the calories on common snack foods that aren’t special for the holidays. Your mom’s famous chocolate peppermint bark? Go for it. A bag of popcorn at a movie? Not worth it.

Mellow Out

Whether you can squeeze in a yoga class or perform some moves in the comfort of your own home or hotel room, taking time to relax your mind and release physical tension will help fight stress. Maybe your back is cramped from a long plane ride or you get a neck-ache each time your cousin asks you an inappropriate question; whatever it is, it’s important to get some relief.

If yoga isn’t your thing, try meditation exercise. Quiet your thoughts and focus on your breathing. Or, do a gratitude exercise. Write down three things you are grateful for. If you’re away with family, and they’re getting on your nerves, maybe writing down why you are grateful for them in particular will help bring back the peace and love.

Sweat Out Stress

Getting in a great workout will boost endorphins and better equip you to handle holiday chaos. Keeping a consistent schedule will also provide a sense of normalcy, slowing down the holiday madness. Zone out with a hit playlist or grab a buddy for a run or class. Plus, it’ll help prevent the feared weight gain that is associated with wintertime.

Remember Its Purpose

Were the holidays designed to make us fat, lazy and anxious? Hell no. The holidays are a time to celebrate life through good food, great company and new experiences. Whether your family sticks with traditions or travels to a new hotspot each year, the point is to enjoy one another’s company.

If you’re reaching your breaking point, halt. Take a moment to close your eyes, visualize a happy family moment or a relaxing place (beach and palm trees, anyone?), and re-collect yourself. Bring yourself back to the present moment and focus on making it a memorable one.

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