Tips to Beat the Holiday Stress

December is a joyfully wonderful, and incredibly busy, time of the year.  With parties, family obligations, and shopping things can get pretty hectic pretty quickly.  As we hurl ourselves into holiday mode we need to be especially careful not to overdo it and invite stress to take over.  Here are my tips for really making December the most wonderful time of the year!

1) Meditate/Me Time  You don't have to have a deep, zen-like meditation practice to take advantage of this one.  All you need to do is wake up just 15 minutes earlier.  You can sit up or simply lay there, in your cozy bed, and listen to the sound of your own breath.  Set an intention for yourself for the day.  Maybe it's just 1 word to think about (Balance, Peace, Healing, Forgiveness).  Just think of your intention word or phrase and listen to your breath. See if you can inhale for 4 counts and exhale for 6 counts in and out of your nose.  Notice a sense of calm wash over you.  Starting your day with an intention will stay with you throughout the day.  Try it and see!  

2) Exercise  Once again, you don't need tons of time for this one.  Every little bit adds up!  It doesn't need to be all or nothing.  When I'm stressed for time, my favorite go-to is a brisk walk around my neighborhood.  I don't have to drive anywhere or use any fancy equipment or worry if a class is going to go over time.  Sneakers and go.  20-30 minutes will feel amazing.  After you've got yourself moving you'll make better food choices and keep your immune system healthy.  

3) Sleep  Get enough of it.  You know how much you need!  You'll ward of the flu more easily, make better food choices, and have better interactions all day long.  It's easy to get caught up in the moment and go to bed too late.  When I find myself doing this, I come back to 1 very simple thought, "I want to have a great day tomorrow!" and then I usually put down what I'm doing and go to bed.  Think about the next day.  Nourish your mind and your body with gentle sleep.  Take if from Shakespeare, "Let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains."  

There you have it!  3 things you already knew, but presented in easy, manageable bites.  
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!