Surviving the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year"...

It has been awhile friends!

If you're anything like me, the holiday season seemed to sneak up much too fast this year!  Getting into the holiday spirit took a little longer than usual and when I stopped to figure out why, it was clear, I just kept adding to my never ending list!  So I decided to write up a quick post on the one thing I'm sure most of us can relate to this time of year: Stress!

As we all know, stress ages us and it's terrible for our health!  It makes us look older, and certainly "feel" older.  We stress over the little stuff and the big stuff.  Finances, family issues, the list goes on.  But for our health, and our sanity, we've got to try and keep the stress level down.

Of course this is not an easy task to master!  Amidst the flurry of getting the tree and lights up, shopping, wrapping, plus the insane amount of holiday parties squeezed into one little month...naturally that's just when the heat decides to go out, light strands blow out, snow piles up in the driveway, add in the kids screaming in the background after 8 hours of shopping, ugh!  All the merriness goes right out the window!  Hmmm...did I even mention work? honor of the annual fun, here are my top 4 tips to get through the season in one healthy, happy piece.  And to be able to bring in the New Year with more joy than stress

  • Don't sweat the small stuff.  Those cookies you were gonna make from scratch for the 'em.  That present you were gonna wrap all pretty with ribbon...throw it in a bag and go.  Take the pressure off yourself.  No one that loves you will care and they are all hoping to do the same thing!
  • Don't add anymore to your list!  It is tempting.  Just one more party, one more "quick" trip to the mall, one more whatever.  Start checking stuff off the list and keep things simple.  There's already enough to do, and adding more to-do's will simply lead to more stress and less holiday spirit.
  • Grab some quiet time.  Even for an hour.  Go grab a peppermint ice cream or Gingerbread Latte and *breathe* in the beautiful weather.  Though that may vary depending where you live!  Admire all the decorations around your city.  Chances are you haven't even noticed all the lovely lights and music playing everywhere.  Enjoy the season!
  • And last, but most important, take any of the extra time you save by doing things the simpler way, and spend it with those you love.  Give the gift of your time this year and gift it to yourself as well.  Isn't that what the season should be about? Wouldn't you rather go have a hot chocolate and listen to the laughter of a child?  Wouldn't you rather meet friends for a coffee or movie and just enjoy each other?  That would be better for your health, make you smile more and overall make the season better for you and those you love!

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed 2014!  With much less stress, good health and a lot more peace!