Holiday Eating, Lose Weight, Holiday Parties, Healthy Eating for the Holidays
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Happier Holidays: 10 De-Stressing Tips
by Mitzi Dulan, RD

Shopping, parties, traveling, kids out of school and lots of time with your in-laws- sound fun? For some of us it can be a tad bit stressful. If you have ever felt a silent eagerness for January to roll around a little more quickly then you may benefit from some of these holiday de-stressors to get yourself ready for another holiday season. As you have likely heard before, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So improve your sanity and enjoyment of the holiday season this year with these ten stress-buster ideas.

1.) Set your priorities before the holidays. Trim unnecessary tasks and make sure you do activities you enjoy. It often helps to write down holiday goals (fitness, financial, family), strategies to achieve those goals, and rewards for reaching your goals. For example, a goal could be to exercise 4 times per week during December. The strategy could be to write it in your calendar as if it were a doctor’s appointment. You can then reward yourself by purchasing a new outfit, getting a massage, or a night out without the kids.

2.) Only go to holiday parties that you really want to attend. We often go to every party for which we receive an invitation. Don’t try to spread yourself too thin since it can be exhausting.

3.) Know that it is okay to make a break with tradition. Decide what you really enjoy and consider making small changes that would make your holiday season more enjoyable.

4.) Try Internet shopping to avoid the hassle of the holiday crowds and traffic. Since you can shop online 24 hours a day shop when it works best for you and you can often find better deals online.

5.) Watch your diet. The key to holiday nutrition is not overeating. Watch your portion sizes! If you are trying lots of new foods because they look so delicious remember my motto “only eat it if you love it”. Many times we take a bite of a food and can be disappointed by the flavor but continue to eat it. Don’t waste your calories if you don’t love it!

6.) Get moving! Neglecting your workout can be common when schedules get out of control but exercising is even more important during the holidays because it not only helps by reducing stress but it can also prevent holiday weight gain. If you are traveling to spend time with family and friends check out a local gym since many offer one day or week rates. It will make you feel more energized and get you away from the television and the holiday grazing.

7.) Get plenty of sleep because people are much more productive if well rested.

8.) Spend only what you can afford on holiday gifts. Set up a budget and stick to it! Be creative.

9.) If you are alone for the holidays keep busy. Consider volunteering at a community event.

10.) If you have holiday guests make sure you spend some time away from them. Trying to entertain others can be extremely stressful so make sure you make time for yourself. This will help decrease stress and tension.

Implement a few or all of the above tips and see how a little pre-planning can keep your stress in check. Cheers to a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!
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