Here are a few ideas that I use that may help manage holiday stress:

1. Live in this moment , just take a look around, be present and be realistic. Are your expectations of what your home, your husband, you, your kids, your pets and just anything around you realistic? We do not have to be perfect. I watched some of the the Holiday movies with my husband and grand kids and dreamt that I would have my home decorated like a movie set and the food and cookies would be perfect!  I imagined the tree lit perfectly and all our decorations in place …when in reality, the tree is 34 years old and leans towards Australia, the star on top lights when it feels like it, and the new dog thinks it’s a fire hydrant.  I had to sit back and just enjoy watching the kids chase the dog and try to sneak peeks into the boxes..

2. Take care of yourself and those around you will follow…. This can include regular walks after dinner to just talk about the day. Adequate sleep, sleep is necessary , your body needs some down time. Eating a healthy diet, this way when you go to a social venue a small appetizer or dessert won’t throw you off the healthy wagon!  Before and /or after work or shopping stretch your muscles and take a deep breath ( 2 or 3 minutes will make a huge difference!) .

3. Think about what is most important and valuable to you during the holidays and keep those as priority.  Just say no to things that are not on your priority list, and ask for help when needed. I make a calendar and write all appointments on it , social and work related, I have everyone give me their school, recital, work related and family related gatherings. This way every knows where we have to be , when and how to dress ( well, more or less). this helps keep all of us on the same page , especially if you have teenagers who seem have last minute projects that involve engineering, driving all over the county and plenty of money! If it’s not on the calendar… oh well!

4. Be grateful. Just look around at all the goodness you are blessed with. Sometimes we get so caught up with what we need to do, the insane amount of traffic, and our family who depends on us that we forget how much good is around us! When I have a bad hair day.. I tell myself to be grateful I have hair, and a roof over my head! Good neighbors, a garden ( I call it a garden !) a car to get to places!! I get to be a part of your children’s lives and get them to giggle and enjoy the moment…ahhh yes I am grateful!

Wishing you and yours a blissful stress free , Love filled Holiday Season and New Year. I appreciate all of your support and kindness this year, ….Ooopsy