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Stress smothering your holiday spirit?

This is supposed to be the season of reflection, celebration, and resolution, but instead it seems like we are in a massive web of stress. From packed parking lots to financial woes – there is definitely plenty to stress about during the holiday season and every other time of year, but what you may not realize is the toll you put on your health when you are stressed.

Many, if not most, things in life are out of our control. We can’t control the other drivers on the road, the slower-than-preferred service at a restaurant, or the weather. All we can do is control how we react to these stressors.

Here are a few helpful tips to get you on your way to a less stressful holiday season and hopefully for good.

Take time for YOU – It’s easy to get swept up in the holiday parties and shopping, but it’s important to find time each day for yourself. It can be as easy as taking 10 minutes to read a magazine or treating yourself to a massage. What have you done for yourself lately?

Accept help from others
– Hosting a holiday party? Ask guests to bring something that will shorten your list of responsibilities.

Move your body – Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress. Don’t feel like you have enough time for your usual workout? That’s ok – just make sure you get moving, even for a few minutes. It helps!

Cut the caffeine - Caffeine stimulates the same effects on our body as stress. Take it out of your diet and I bet you will feel pleasantly surprised!

Get some sleep – Ever notice that whenever you’re stressed you’re also exhausted? Make it a point to get to bed earlier or set your alarm for later in the morning. You will feel refreshed and be more productive with the time you have.

Find balance – Athletes don’t play an entire game without a break, so lets start holding ourselves to the same expectation!

Have realistic expectations – Be realistic about what you are capable of completing in a day, a week, a month, etc. You will feel a lot better about yourself when you go to bed at the end of the day being able to cross off all of your “to-do” items instead of only half of them.