Put the "ME" in Merry

Are you feeling over scheduled this time of year? Between parties, gifts to buy, cookies to bake – – the most wonderful time of the year quickly becomes the most stressful. Taking some time for yourself may be the last thing on your never ending to-do list, but it’s an essential step to keeping the inner Grinch away.

You must first take care of yourself. It does no one any good if you’re down and out.

Follow these four steps to a stay sane guide to getting through the holidays with a smile, and starting the New Year off with a bang.

    1. Do you feel overwhelmed or literally feel yourself becoming tense? We carry much of our stress in our muscles. Exercise is a healthy way to work out the frustration of the season. And it’s customizable to your mood and personality. Maybe a high intensity interval training class works for you or a PILATES class that will challenge your mind and body. Need to vent? Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood with a friend.
    2. Do you worry about catching a cold or flu? It is very hard to avoid germs when you are busy visiting family and friends and shopping in crowded malls. If you want to lower your chances of catching a cold this season, then regular exercise may be just what the doctor ordered. Findings show that exercise helps your immune system fight simple infections such as colds and flu, so prevention is key.
    3. Do you get the holiday blues? For some the holiday season can be very a difficult time of the year. It’s a time of sadness, a time of self-evaluation and reflecting about the past year and a time of anxiety about the future year. Regular exercise is an excellent way to boost your mood and get in shape. When you exercise, your body releases a chemical call endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body which can create a more positive and energizing outlook on life.
    4. Treat yourself . . . a massage is a perfect way to honor and center yourself during the holiday season. Schedule one ahead of time.

Above all, remember that the holidays are for celebrating the season and spending quality time with friends and loved ones. As long as you keep that in mind, you’ll feel energized for the New Year ahead.

Until next time . . .