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3 Foolproof Tips for a Less Hectic Holiday

How is it that time off can be SO taxing? The holidays are positively brimming with stressful situations, from awkward office parties to crowded family gatherings and SO… MUCH… SHOPPING… It’s enough to make even the toughest of us suspend our regular exercise regimens, give up on a good night’s sleep, and seek solace in chocolate. Instead, your friends here at Jenny invite you to consider this appealing alternative: STRESS LESS. How’s it done, you ask? Let us count the ways:

1) Be Perfectly Imperfect. There’s always going to be “that one mom” with the hand-crafted holiday cards, thoughtful home-baked hostess gifts and a perfectly turned-out holiday home, or “that one dad” whose Christmas light show attracts crowds from nearby counties. We can’t stress this enough: you don’t have to be that person. For many of us, it’s a minor miracle if we get around to purchasing holiday cards, let alone signing or addressing them. So give yourself a break, and keep your holiday commitments realistic and meaningful. Don’t be afraid to say “no” now and then. If volunteering for your kid’s kindergarten holiday party means you won’t have time to make canapés for the office cocktail party, so be it.

2) Make Movement a Holiday Tradition. The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should stay inside on the couch. Instead, find a physical activity the whole family can enjoy, together, on this special day. If it’s snowing, this might mean piling into the car for a trip to the local sledding hill—fresh air and velocity truly have no age limit. It could be as simple as taking a family walk around the neighborhood to help your mid-afternoon meal settle. Or if you’re feeling really cozy inside, pop in your favorite active video game and challenge your nieces and nephews to a game of tennis… or better yet, a rousing “dance” match. Deep belly laughs are the most enjoyable way we’ve found to work those abs.

3) Carve off Some You-Time. Yes, the holidays are a time of togetherness. But how much constant companionship can we really take? In this season of overscheduling and busyness, of houseguests and family commitments, it’s more important than ever to take yourself out of the group picture every now and then. At the bare minimum, set aside one hour every day to do whatever it is that helps you recharge—whether that’s a restorative yoga class, a vigorous workout, a hot bubble bath, quiet time with a good book, or even going to bed an hour early. If shopping is enjoyable for you, get a rough-cut gift list done early this year, and do your holiday shopping the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving. Trust us: any Midnight Madness or Black Friday savings you might score are worthless next to the pure tranquility of having the mall mostly to yourself.