Three Simple Steps to Reduce Holiday Stress

You’ve been doing great so far. Made a decent dent in your holiday shopping list. Got the season’s parties and school concerts sorted out. Even put some decorations up. But the clock is ticking. As the pace picks up, keep stress from taking over in the coming weeks with three simple tips:

Put your feet up. While a good night’s sleep would be better, let’s be realistic! When you’re feeling pooped but can’t stop quite yet, set the timer for 15 minutes and relax. Putting your feet up helps signal your brain to shift gears. Then breath, don’t think. If you must keep your mind from going through your to-do list, try saying your ABCs, singing your favorite song, or repeating your multiplication tables—pick something structured enough to occupy your thoughts without demanding anything of your brain. When time’s up, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the extra boost of energy you’ve received.

Keep the tank full. How many times have you missed a meal because you were too busy to stop and eat? Totally understandable. You may think you can afford to miss a few meals after your Thanksgiving food-fest, but on busy days, your body needs quicker access to energy. Without it, your blood sugar can drop drastically and leave you tired, cranky and in a brain fog. Try to eat small meals or snacks every three to four hours, especially on extra-busy days. Get plenty of low-fat protein and complex carbohydrates. Foods rich in Vitamin B12 and omega-3 fats can also keep your engine running.

Have a drink—of water. All that extra activity, like walking the mall, lugging bags and packages, scrubbing floors, and even trimming the tree, can make you sweat more than usual. Coupled with the dryer air often accompanying the cold, you can become dehydrated faster than you can sing, “fa la la la laaa.” Keep a big cup or bottle of water handy and make yourself hit it often. Dehydration brings on fatigue and you’ve got presents to wrap!