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4 Secrets to Escape Holiday Stress

Fitday Editor

With the holiday season fast approaching the time has come to begin making arrangements for all of the shopping, entertaining, and party-going that is right around the corner. Although it's a season to be jolly, if you're unprepared it can quickly turn into a season of stress. But you shouldn't allow the pressure to overwhelm your holiday spirit or your health. Instead, escape the stress with these practical tips.

1. Prioritize Healthy Habits

It's important to enjoy the holidays, but allowing them to be a free-for-all only creates added stress and guilt. Feel free to indulge a little, but make sure it's in moderation. When it comes to the foods you're eating, adhere to the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time, choose foods that are part of the solid foundation of health eating. Then, the remaining 20 percent of the time is yours to enjoy as you see fit.

And don't forget to keep your mood up and your weight down by exercising. Time can be hard to come by, but devoting 15 minutes to quick workout or a short walk can help ward off anxiety. Perhaps most important of all, be sure to get enough sleep during all of the holidays. All of the excitement, traveling, parties can wreak havoc on your body and schedule. Trying to get to bed at a decent hour can help restore energy and prevent illness.

2. Plan Ahead

Devise a schedule for all of the traveling, shopping, and baking that needs to be done. Create a shopping list for gifts and menus for any entertaining you plan to do. This way you'll have had a chance to pick up presents and ingredients well in advance, preventing the last-minute meltdown.

3. Stick to a Budget

Managing your money can be especially difficult when you consider the cost of making the rounds to visit friends and family, in addition to the gifts and food you bring along. You can't buy happiness, so don't even try. A better idea is to give homemade gifts, start a gift exchange among friends and family, or make a charitable donation in someone's name.

4. Give Yourself a Break

The holidays should not be all work and worry. Spend some time actually enjoying the moment and the company of loved ones. Or, if things become overwhelming, sneak away for a moment alone, free from distractions. Sometimes all you need is a quick break from the action to clear your mind.

The key to escaping holiday stress is having a plan in place that allows you to enjoy your efforts, instead of dreading them. With all of the demands, both personal and financial, it can be difficult to prevent a meltdown. Being prepared and positive will help you find balance; making for a happy and healthy holiday season.

Joe Vennare is an accomplished fitness entrepreneur who develops, instructs and writes about innovative fitness programs. He is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio, and Race Day Domination.

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