5 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

The last 2 weeks of December are an EXTREMELY BUSY time for everyone – with all the traveling, last minute Christmas shopping and not to mention holiday lunches and dinners with friends, coworkers and family. I know for me it’s been non-stop and a bit hectic to say the least.

But the holidays are such an important time of the year to enjoy, be happy, and de-stress, because then the New Year starts, work picks up, and we’ll be regretting that we didn’t take the time to relax during our few days off.

So here are my top 5 tips to stay stress-free and enjoy these last 10 days of the year:

1.       Prioritize sleep. Got to bed early or sleep in- whatever is most accessible to you – but make it a priority especially on your days off. Enjoy a relaxing tea 30 mins before bed (Bedtime or Natural Calm) or try taking melatonin if you need some help staying asleep for a full 8 hours.

2.       Disconnect at least half hour before bed. Place your phone on airplane-mode, or even better, leave your phone charging outside the bedroom. Turn the TV off, store your ipad away, and instead grab a paperback, so you really disconnect (instead of overloading yourself with social media) before bed. Just TRY it!

3.       Book a massage. If you can afford it, get a full-body massage, otherwise get just a foot massage or back massage. Or ask a loved one for a free 15 min shoulder massage. You can also take the time to give yourself a 10 min massage with your favorite body lotion or oil.

4.       Take short cuts & delegate. If you have plans for cooking this holiday season, allow yourself to take short-cuts, and delegate some of the kitchen chores. Invite others to the kitchen and make cooking a fun group event, but don’t over-burden yourself! This can also apply to last-minute shopping – don’t be afraid to ask for help where it makes sense.

5.       Take at least 1-2 nights off. Whenever you don’t have a dinner/night out this week, take advantage to stay home, have a light dinner, and skip the wine. Enjoy a bowl of warm veggie soup. You’ll be enjoying plenty of wine/booze and decadent food in all the group events, so on your night off, keep it healthy, go to bed early and REST!

These 5 tips will hep to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, so your body goes into "rest and digest" mode, burning calories instead of storing fat. So not only will these tips help you stay stress-free, relaxed and happy, they will also help you stay slim!

Remember that holidays are about being with family and are meant to give us a “recharge”, not stress us out.  So follow my advice and I promise you’ll be feeling better come January.

Wishing you all an amazing, relaxing, happy and healthy holiday!