I don't know about you, but right now I am completely stressing out about Christmas.

My house is a wreck, my tree isn't decorated, (other than lights) I have not finished buying gifts for my family and I'm out of financial resources to do it, (yup, I'm thinking I.O.U.'s may be the way to go this year).

Add to that, a nagging melancholy which I can't seem to shake, pets who need some veterinary attention (who knows how much that may cost) and a constant state of fatigue which magnifies all of the above complaints (Geez, I'm such a whiner!) and I'm looking for some stress-relieving ideas.

  • Be grateful - This one wasn't on any of the lists of stress-relieving tips I found, but- when I think about how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, and family and friends I adore, who seem to love me back, I feel better.
  • Let go of perfection - I get to a certain point when I realize this isn't going to happen, (usually around December 1st) so this isn't an issue for me, but my sister Carmela (I know she's reading this) needs to give herself a break.
  • Sleep - A lot of experts say "make sure you get your 7 to 8 hours a night". I say, who are they kidding? Maybe it's the business I'm in, but I know no one who gets that much sleep. So I would say, just try to get as much as you can, when you can.
  • Be realistic about what you can accomplish - This relates back to the perfection thing. I know every crevice of my house won't be clean, I'm just going for presentable.
  • Enjoy holiday treats - If this signals stress-eating to you, so be it. Give yourself permission to revel in the goodies of the season!
  • Turn off - Your electronics- - skip the email for a bit, put down your phone. Breathe deeply, take a cat nap, meditate. If only for 15 minutes, relax your body and your mind. You really need to.
  • Don't feel guilty about needing a break from your family - You love them, but nobody can drive you as crazy as they can. (Believe me, they're saying the same thing about you!)

For more tips on easing holiday stress, check out Today Health and Huffington Post Healthy Living.


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