Top Five Tips for Preventing Holiday Stress

Donovan Gonzalez, age six, opens a gift during a Christmas dinner hosted by Engine 277, Ladder 112 of the Fire Department of New York.

Donovan Gonzalez, age six, opens a gift during a Christmas dinner hosted by Engine 277, Ladder 112 of the Fire Department of New York.  (Getty)

Here we are, the last month of the year. Usually that fact in itself can be a source of stress for some. We all know what this month brings: holiday shopping, time with family, dinners with friends… all things that can be a great source of happiness and joy or a cause for great stress. We can all use a little time out to de-stress specially during this time of year, when it can all be so daunting and extremely un-motivating. Here are some tips that help me maintain focus and prevent stress during the holiday season:

Make a Plan: Creating a plan that you can stick to is key. Perhaps you can start thinking about what it is you want to accomplish before the year ends. A lot of the time we focus our attention on what we “want” to do at the beginning of the year, and we neglect the time we still have now. Make a plan that incorporates these last few weeks to help keep you motivated and less stressed.

Create “To Do” Lists: Christmas lists, end of year tasks, grocery lists. This is part of being organized. Making a list can prevent you from getting overwhelmed or stressed out around this time of year. It will also help keep things in order; perhaps you create a master list that you can carry around with you, or save it in your desktop to help keep you on track.

Clean Your Room: Clutter stresses me out. I cannot live with clutter; this is a major source of anxiety for many people I know (myself included). What does this have to do with staying motivated? For me, everything. Think of how great it feels to wake up to a nice clean room; some people actually find it uplifting to calming. Plus, this is your space. It shouldn’t be another source of stress, it should be your sanctuary.  

Eat Healthy: This one is probably the most challenging one. There are so many yummy treats everywhere you go. Work, office, family and friends homes. It's hard not to avoid holiday goodies around this time. Eating healthy wholesome and nutritious food, as we all know, makes us FEEL better. We know how terrible it is to come down from a sugar high. Sugar, fat and salt in excess can throw your body off. This is not helpful when you are trying to accomplish things before the end of the year. Eat as healthy and as clean as you can. No processed food or refined sugars.

Exercise: Finally, the one that is the best de-stresser. Moving your body feels amazing, it helps keep everything outside and inside in order. Take a spinning class, do some yoga or go for a run. Giving your body a chance to move and discharge any pent-up energy from the workweek --or the year-- is helpful for your body and your mind. Your body needs to get rid of all the extra physical stress that gets stuck in your body. So MOVE!

Positive actions will help keep you motivated and less stressed during the holidays. If you start to feel like your motivation is waning and you are feeling overwhelmed, immediately direct your attention to your plan. This will also prevent any procrastination to the things you want to accomplish and perhaps make your remember the bigger picture.

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: and visit her website

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