December. It’s holiday time. And with that comes fun, joy, stress, spending, connecting, and so much more. The holidays are one of the most joyous, but often stressful, times of the year. Each year we each try to figure out how to more easefully prepare for the gift giving and time spending. So much so, that now the retailers have started Christmasing around Halloween! Ridiculous to me, but it must help boost spending and that’s their job, to get our money.

If you’re already stressed out thinking about everything you need to get done, check out these five tips to manage the stress of the holidays so you can enjoy yourself this year.


  1. Commute Mindfully: A lot of the holiday season is spent in a vehicle or on a plane to get to our loved ones. While you are traveling, take some time to relax and focus on your breathing. This will allow you to go to your next event, calm and refreshed; not to mention, you’ll be a better travel companion.


  1. Continue to Exercise Regularly: The holidays usually come with more hectic schedules, but it is so important to maintain your regular exercise routine. Exercising reduces your stress levels and combats depression. Even if it’s just twenty minutes, make sure to get your heartrate up to keep those stress levels down. If you can get a bit of a sweat going, even better, as sweating helps to detox the body. And we all know that a little detox around this time of year can help to balance things out.


  1. Take Time for Yourself: In a season that is centered on giving, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Whether this means sitting down and reading a book for an hour or taking a morning yoga class, remember to make time for things that will make you happy. You’ve got to take care of yourself in order to feel energetic, happy and balanced so that you can give freely and lovingly to others. There’s a reason that the airlines tell us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first; we’re no good to anyone if we’re not around. Take care of yourself, it’s not selfish, it’s necessary.


  1. Plan Ahead: When you take time to plan ahead, you can actually enjoy the holidays. Be sure to leave extra time when commuting, start your cooking early, order those gifts or go shopping before you think you need to and pace yourself so you don’t miss any of the magical moments. There’s so much to do that we often wait til the last minute then buzz through everything without fully enjoying each activity and interaction. This year, slow it down, be present in the moment and really allow the magic of the season into your life and heart.


  1. Stay Hydrated: All the wonderful foods around the holidays are delicious, but usually high in sodium. Make sure you are staying hydrated so you don’t get headaches. If possible, try carrying a water bottle with you on your holiday stops, so you can hydrate between those eggnogs!