Take the Stress Out of the Holiday Season

“As the shoppers rush home with their treasures” rings true today more than when Silver Bells was first written. Overscheduled families often hustle through the holidays in such as stressful blur that they end up spending the holidays nursing colds or

fighting off bronchitis.Make sure your visit is relaxing and restoring by keeping a few simple rules in mind:

1. Take time to enjoy doing nothing. Just sitting with your family by a roaring fire drinking hot chocolate has value. Your body, mind and spirit need time to unwind and declutter and quality time with the kids is much needed in these days of DSi's and Kinects.

2.  Take care of yourself. Be sure to take in plenty of fluids, especially fresh juice, take vitamins and maintain a healthy diet. Sweets and overindulgence are hallmarks of the holiday season but highly processed starchy and fatty foods can take a toll on your immune system. Keep them in balance with fresh fruit and vegetables.

3.  Take a time out. Indulge in a spa bath with special salts and essential oils. Not only is the hot water relaxing and pleasing, the water and salts help detoxify your system and ease stressed muscles.

4.  Take a short cut. Reduce the time you spend rushing around for the holidays by having a plan. Order online, have a specific list of stores you want to visit personally, be strategic about trips to the post office. The more organized you are approaching the season of giving the less likely you are to exceed your spending limit or struggle for parking.

5.  Take notice. Do something special to commemorate the season. Go to the Nutcracker, take in a holiday show, work in a homeless shelter or even just go caroling. If you feel you are authentically experiencing the holiday, the season will be more naturally joyful and less stressful.

6.  Take the pressure off. The holidays – like everything else in life – aren't perfect. Don't hold yourself and your family to an unattainable standard. A good gift is just as heartfelt as the perfect gift. If your son's hair isn't just so in the Christmas portrait, so be it. Your family and friends don't expect perfection from you – don't put that on yourself.

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