Holiday Stress Tips: Making Room for Small Bites of Relaxation

Woman Relaxing OutsideFinding time to relax, even for a few precious moments, is just as important during the hectic Thanksgiving period as any of the tasks on your to-do list. As Thanksgiving approaches, with the December holidays right on its heels, it brings along a lot of holiday stress. And nothing ruins festivities faster than catching a cold or getting a migraine.

Try these holiday stress tips to sneak in moments of tranquility without throwing your schedule off-track:

•    Take five for a mini workout. If your morning run or midday class has taken a backseat to shopping, chopping and baking, don’t fret. Instead, set aside five minutes to do a simple yoga exercise. You won’t need to change clothes or use special gear. For beginners, check out Fitness magazine’s Yoga 101 series online. For those well-versed in yoga, roll out your mat and meditate. Even a mini-workout in the middle of a busy day will leave you refreshed.

•    Make a list of blessings. When you sit down to write out your to-do list or grocery list, use the occasion to create a different kind of list: “Things I am thankful for.” You might list names of people you love, or note small but important accomplishments of the day “I didn’t blare my horn at the slow driver in front of me”, or record something funny or sweet your kids did that made you smile. This holiday stress tip teaches us the value of being thankful for what we have – and it doesn’t have to be reserved for the big things in life. Taking a moment to put a reminder of your blessings in writing is a great way to celebrate thankfulness for the little things that make it all worthwhile.

•    Run an “errand.” When feeling overwhelmed, one holiday stress tip is to declare the need to run an errand, and then dash out the door with a book or favorite magazine stashed in your purse. Drive around the corner or to the nearest quiet spot and then spend 10 or even 20 minutes in blissful silence. Read, turn on the car radio, or just sit and admire the season while you take a much-needed pause. Upon returning home, your post-escape peace will be as beneficial to everyone else as a plate of homemade cookies. Well, almost.

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