With the holiday season in full swing, the pressure is on. Gifts to buy. Parties to attend (or throw). Cookies to bake. While these are all good things, they can make for a stressful season if you let them. Now is the perfect time to re-think how you spend your holiday time so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. Here are a few tips to try.

1-Focus on your values. Before the chaos begins, focus on what you most value. Family? Friends? Good health? Giving back? By paying attention to what is most important, you increase your joy and holiday spirit. You’ll say “yes” to those activities that support your values, whether that means buying a certain gift, accepting an invitation, or spending time with friends. You will emphasize what means the most to you.

2-Try to stay on schedule. This is the time of year when schedules can easily go awry. Do your best to stick to your regular eating, exercise, and sleep routines and you’ll be rewarded with a steady stream of energy. It’s OK to indulge in the occasional holiday treat (you have to try the egg nog!), just do it sparingly.

3-Take a time out. During this season (just like the rest of the year), every day won’t be all goodness and light. When bad traffic, overdone turkey, and crowds at the mall are getting to you, take a time-out for yourself. A little “me-time” could be a scheduled massage, coffee and venting with a friend, or a 5-minute meditation. And, yes, you do have the time.

4-Remember to practice gratitude. Goes without saying, it’s what the holidays are supposed to be about.

5-Find a good hiding place. This tip, from Olympian Gabby Reese, is one of my favorites. Find a moment to yourself, away from the scene. Says Gabby, “An abundance of loved ones is incredibly special, but can also feel super intense.” She hides out for a few minutes to give herself some relief. Sneak away to the bathroom, or the backyard, or take a quick walk around the block. Even through you’re surrounded by love and positive energy, it feels good to take a solitary mini-break every once in a while.

There are lots of ways to stay in the holiday spirit. Try experimenting this season and make note of what works for you.

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