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3 Secrets to a Low Stress Holiday Season

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We are well into the holiday season - a time of year that's known for it's busy nature and loads of stress. After all, you likely have invitations to multiple gatherings, a long list of people to send holiday cards to, extravagant meals to prepare, and the daunting task of braving the crowds to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  All of this on top of your normal everyday work and responsibilities.  

I'm overwhelmed just thinking about!

I wanted to share with you some of my personal favorite ways to navigate this time of year and make this season a lot more enjoyable.  The goal . . . less stress and more fond memories!

My three top survival secrets for the holiday season . . . 

1. Be present

This is so difficult for me anytime of year.  Especially at the holidays, every free moment my instinct is to return to my to do list.  If I'm too overwhelmed by my list, I pick up my phone and scroll through my e-mail.  Do you do the same? 

The best way to get grounded when I feel scatter-brained is to focus on my senses in the present.  What do I hear? What do I feel? Stopping and thinking through what's going on around me at that very moment really brings me into the present moment unlike anything else. 

After putting your phone in the other room (the only way I can avoid the distraction), use this tool to dial in and be present - focusing on the people around you and the joy they bring to your life. 

2. Give Up Expectations

If I'm being honest, I know that a lot of the holiday stress I put on myself.  I don't expect perfection from anyone else but me - why is that? 

With all of the places I need to be, preparations that need to be made, and family from all over in one house, something is bound to go awry.  Therefore, dropping the expectation of perfection allows me to be prepared for when something may spring up.  

There is joy to be found in each situation, so even when things don't go exactly as planned - spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances.  Enjoy as much of your time as you possibly can. 

3. Move More

I have to find time to move this time of year, and to do that it must be on my schedule no matter how busy I may feel. I never seem to find myself exercising accidentally - how about you? 

Even if it's just a brisk walk after lunch - I must ma it a habit to bundle up in my scarf and coat and get out of the house.  It gives me energy and clears my mind - it's even better when I can do it with someone I enjoy being around. 

Be sure that you are getting time outside in nature, breathing fresh air when possible.  However, any type of movement (on a treadmill or pilates class) will get your heart rate up and your brain pumping out happy holiday chemicals. 

My favorite way to move during the holidays is walking the dog after dinner.  I let go of the stress of the day, focus on nature, reset my priorities, and improve my digestion all at the same time. Join our Facebook community and share your favorite ways to get movement in and de-stress this holiday season. 

If movement seems impossible for you due to stiffness, or if achy joints are causing you more added stress this season . . . Apply For A No-Cost 20 Minute Physical Therapy "Discovery" Session by clicking the link below.  We can help you get things sorted out quickly so you can get back to enjoying this time of year with family and friends.