5 tips for stress free holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Between the holiday cooking, cleaning, decorating, wrapping, traveling and party attending, there’s barely a moment to breathe during the holiday season!  Here are some helpful tips to keep the stress at bay and and keep the holidays merry and bright!

Keep it real!  We all want the picture perfect holiday with creatively wrapped gifts, smiling children, and a home free of clutter and expertly decorated!  But the reality is kids can be jerks around the holidays.  You never have the time to clean out the clutter and gift bags do the trick when it comes to presents.  Create a realistic daily to do list.  If you control your expectations, it helps with the stress.

Slow down!  Every year it seems like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas get shorter and shorter.  It’s okay to take a break!  Stop in at your neighborhood cafe like the Mud House, Black Flat, Ripple Cafe or Homestead Cafe, sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and a sweet treat.  Practice being mindful, focusing only on what’s going on in the present. Instead of thinking about what’s worrying you or stressing you out, be present.  Shut your phone off for 20 minutes!

Move and breath!  Working out is a great way to relieve stress.  Try a class at Body + Fuel!  Offering classes like Cross Fit, and Total Conditioning, this fitness studio will help you feel stress free!  Yoga is a perfect way to focus on your breathing!  Open Doors Yoga Studios offers classes like intro to yoga to more advanced classes like hot power yoga.  Take 2 hours to yourself and participate in Yoga Bootcamp Workshop on December 16th from 2pm-4pm.  Take a walk along the water or Pope John Paul II Park.  Even a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood is a great idea! New to yoga?  Four Corners Yoga is offering yoga for beginners! The series begins Monday, November 20th at 6pm. Cost is $90 for 4 classes plus a private yoga session with Karuna!

Have fun!  The holidays should be fun!  Make plans to grab a holiday cocktail with friends in the neighborhood.  Enjoy the magic of the season  – go to your neighborhood tree lighting, sing some carols, sip some hot chocolate.  Have a family pajama party and watch It’s a Wonderful Life or Elf on TV!

Practice gratitude!  Studies show that grateful people report feeling healthier and are more likely to take care of themselves than others. Next time you are stuck in traffic or waiting in line at the mall, think of one thing you appreciate in your life!   Another great practice is writing down 5 things your thankful for first thing in the morning or right before you got to bed.