Three simple strategies to reduce stress and overwhelm during the holidays.

It’s already December.  Are you excited about the holidays or are you stressed.   It’s so easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed during this time of year.   Between your regular demands, then prepping for the holidays, it gets overwhelming.  How are you going to get it all done?  Is it easy for you to neglect yourself? Do you continue to find you are eating on the go, skipping meals or living off the junk food others bring to the office.  Are you low on energy, cranky, overwhelmed?  One of the most important things to do is to continue to take care of you first.  Why is that?  If you take care of yourself, then you will maintain your health and have more energy so you can get it all done.   Here are three simple tips that will make all the difference in getting you through the holiday season feeling more relaxed, calm and energetic:

1.        Make sure you eat healthy meals:  I know, you don’t have time.  Guess what, if you plan properly and eat healthy you will have more energy to get things done and that will make up for not having time.  Set aside a couple hours each week and prep your meals.  I like to triple my recipe so I eat the meal twice during the week (less cooking) and freeze a portion so I have something in the freezer for those extra busy days and weeks.  When you triple your recipe, you only need to make two or three dishes to last you through the week.  Also prep some snacks that you can easily grab in the morning and take with you.  That can be cutting up carrots or apples and adding some raw almonds.  It really helps to have healthy snacks with you on those days that you are shopping or running errands.  They will keep you energized and keep you out of the fast food restaurants or from just not eating.

2.       Breath:  This technique will immediately help you feel less stressed.  It is called the 5-5-7 breath.  When you are stressed and overwhelmed, your sympathetic nervous system turns on.  This is the same as “fight or flight.”  This sends adrenaline and cortisol through your body.  When you do the 5-5-7 breath it will immediately relax your mind and body.  It takes you out of the “fight or flight mode” and you will feel calmer and have clearer thinking.  All you have to do is inhale for 5 counts, hold for 5 counts and exhale for 7 counts.  Repeat this 10 times.  It only takes about a minute or two and will feel a big difference.

3.       Use your calendar.  Do what I call a brain dump.  Take a piece of paper and write down everything you want to get done.  Review the list and cross out anything that is not absolutely necessary.  Look at the remaining items and delegate what you can.  With what’s left, look at your calendar and schedule in time for each task.   When you have tasks scheduled on your calendar it helps you from feeling like you should be doing something else.  It also gives you a good idea if you are trying to get more things done than is reasonable for the time you have.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” to things that you do not want to do or do not have time to do.  It’s okay not to be everyone and everything to everybody else.

Implement these three simple tips and you will feel calmer and have more energy so you can enjoy the holidays more.

If you like helping your friends, family and colleagues to be happier and healthier, please forward this newsletter to them if you think they would be interested or inspired by it. 


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