Eating right and exercising will play a big part in keeping holiday stress at bay. Keeping stress levels low also helps prevent weight gain. However, if the stress creeps in, there are several strategies you can use to relax.
Say No: Don't feel pressured to say yes to every invitation. Or, make a brief appearance at a celebration and then go home to relax. Your friends and family will appreciate having a happier, more relaxed you, even if that means skipping a party or two.
Time vs Money: If a lack of time is a stressor during the holidays, fork over a bit of extra cash to have someone wrap gifts for you or clean the house before guests arrive. If money is tight, get creative and make homemade gifts or send a thoughtful, handwritten card.
Remember Your Values: Find ways to remind yourself what the holiday season is really about—giving and enjoying others' company. Volunteer at a homeless shelter with your family. Take a minute to thank someone for their help. Pause to take a few deep breaths and know the stress will pass.
The big lesson here in all of these strategies is take care of yourself. Find time in a busy day to take a few minutes for exercise, deep breathing, or eat a healthy snack. Contrary to popular belief, small efforts do count, and they can make the difference between gaining a few pounds while tearing your hair out or staying fit and truly enjoying the season.
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