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Handle the Holidays with ease and grace

I love the Holiday season and everything that comes with it from the decorations, to the hot toddies to the time with family. Well, to be honest, I love ALMOST everything about the Holidays. I don’t love the stress and demands on my time and the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all. Maybe you feel the same way and want to handle the holidays with ease and grace this year but don’t know where to start. Here are a few tips I think will be helpful. Read on friends…

  1. Manage your time. We all have the same number of hours in the day. It’s how you use them that matters. Make a list or use your calendar to plan each day and week. Look at what you can reasonably do and DELEGATE the rest. Maybe that means ordering meal kits from Hello Fresh or one of the many meal services to cut down on trips to the supermarket. It might mean you create a carpool to and from kids’ activities. Hire a babysitter for the errands you can’t manage with kids in tow. You get the idea-you are actually buying time for your “to-do’s”.

  2. Avoid the drive thru. If you need a snack between meals, keep dried fruit, nuts, carrot sticks, tangerines, apples and water in your car. At least you’ll get fiber, healthy fats, protein and vitamins in these snacks. Limit the lattes-they are super high in sugar and sure to cause a blood sugar crash later which will make you crave more snacks.

  3. The freezer is your friend. When you have the opportunity to cook a meal like soup, stew, chili or pasta sauce, double the recipe and freeze half. Then when you’re in a pinch to feed a hungry crew, you defrost and voila! dinner in short order.

  4. Stay Hydrated. My favorite water bottle is made by Swell. It is magical because it keeps cold water cold for hours and they make one small enough to fit in my purse. When you stay hydrated, you’ll feel full between meals, reduce cravings and plump up your skin for that Holiday glow. Who doesn’t want that?

  5. Food is fuel, not a reward. Eat what you need throughout the day to keep your energy up, but avoid grazing at night or when you’re bored. Make one pass through the buffet line at parties, filling your plate once.

  6. Watch the alcohol intake. Before you order that specialty cocktail or mocktail during a night out, check the ingredients…many of them are loaded with sugar (simple syrup) and liqueurs which add to the calorie count. Drink club soda between cocktails.

  7. Sleep deep! Our bodies need sleep to regenerate. It was recently reported that 49% of Americans don’t get a good night’s sleep…7-8 hours is best for most people. So reduce the caffeine intake late in the day and follow a pre-bedtime routine like soaking in a warm bath with epsom salts, which contain magnesium and help induce sleep. Turn off the cell phones and computers at least one hour before slumber. Dab lavender oil on your neck and behind your ears to relax.

  8. Breathe! Try meditating on a regular basis, even if it’s for just 5 minutes each day. Your stress level and anxiety levels will definitely be lower and you’ll feel peaceful and calm.

  9. Of course these are tips for any time of year, but pretty effective during November and December.

Patty Kelley