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Let’s face it, the Holiday’s can be stressful! Between finding those perfect gifts, managing your budget, entertaining family, cooking, baking, and putting up the tree, there can be little time to relax.

So, how do we manage? What can we do, to help make the Holiday’s as enjoyable (and stress free!) as possible?

1. MAKE TIME FOR SELF CARE

All too often, we spend our Holiday’s focusing on everyone but ourselves. We spend hours, trying to find meaningful gifts. We bake for our best friends. We give up our best bed sheets, so that our guests are warm. This is all wonderful (and, as a bonus, studies show that altruism can benefit our own mental health!). But, where do we fit in? What about us? As the Holiday season approaches, self care becomes even more important. Try and carve out even 10 minutes a day, to do something for you:

Turn off your phone, and cuddle your pets. 

Eat a cookie mindfully (focus on the taste, the texture, the smell…).

Take a bath. 

Dance to your favorite Holiday song. 

As a therapist, I often hear people say “I don’t have time for self care”. There seems to be a misconception, that acts of self care need to be big. This isn’t always realistic, especially this time of year! Remember that taking care of YOU doesn’t need to be a big production. Every little thing counts!

2. EAT MINDFULLY 

The Holidays are filled with chaos, laughter, and food. While Holiday food is delicious, the calories can add up. Not only can this add to our waist line, but over eating can also have an effect on our mood. This Holiday season, try and focus on eating mindfully. Take a moment, and really taste your food. Try and notice all the different flavors, and textures. Eat slowly. Breathe in the smell. Not only can this help reduce our stress levels, but eating mindfully can also help combat over eating.

3. SET BOUNDARIES

Practice saying “no”!

4. SET (AND STICK TO) A BUDGET 

Before you start shopping, set a budget. It sounds simple, but overspending can exacerbate stress. If your VISA is tempting, try taking out cash. Once the cash is spent, you’re cut off!

5. SLOW DOWN 

Whether or not you feel its the most wonderful time of the year, there is always benefit in slowing things down. Breathe in slowly. Sip your coffee slowly. Try and notice the little things.