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Here comes the yearly déjà vu time ~ are you ready?  The holiday season should be full of joy and love, friendship, appreciation and all the great things that make us human. But instead,  seems like every year, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we have more stress, eat more of the things we shun other times of the year, find less time for ourselves, feel the pressure of family relationships more and take on more financial burdens with the obligatory gift giving.  No matter how much we vow we won’t do the same things again, for most people, it is hard to break those patterns and often impossible.  Overloading your social schedule along with the demands of entertaining, gift shopping, decorating and other holiday traditions can push even the most organized of people into a panic. Not to mention the family and interpersonal conflicts that often surface at holiday time.  And of course, there are some things that are always bound to happen so how we choose to react is important to look at.

We’d like to help you figure out the path of least resistance when it comes to staying healthy and lowering your stress during this time of year.  Studies show that flu season is not just about the bug going around. It is actually more about how low our immune systems go during the holiday season which sets us up for weakness to catch the bugs come January and February.  There’s also the depression that comes from days with less sunlight and the few extra pounds that come from those office parties and daily noshing on goodies.

Here’s a survival list for making a conscious effort to move towards changing what you can THIS YEAR.

1)    Do something nice for yourself.  Take a yoga class, a hot bath or go to a movie to clear your head.

2)    Remember it is okay to say no to some of the social invitations.  Loading up your calendar with something to do every single evening because you feel obligated, is not healthy.

3)    Be extra organized with lists to get things done and leave breathing room so that you don’t feel like you are rushing around all day and night.

4)    Don’t judge yourself or others during this time. Consider that everyone is doing the best that they can.

5)    Treasure your traditions, but be open to new ones. Drop any expectations about what should or shouldn’t happen in any given situation during this time.

6)    Don’t cut back on your sleep time, just to get things done. That alone can leave you grumpy and stressed, throw off your diet, and increase your risk of colds.

7)    Watch your sugar and alcohol intake. Both can make you more emotional.

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