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Be Merry: 10 Tips for a No Stress Holiday Season



Remember when you were a kid, and the holidays meant a break from school, hot chocolate, and the countdown to lots of toys?


As adults, it feels a bit different. While the holidays are commercialized to be a warm-and-fuzzy time of year, they can also be a mixed bag of feelings and stress. It’s easy to fall under the pressure of year-end work, finding the right gift for a loved one, or feelings of loneliness that are amplified by such a social time of year. That’s why it’s especially important to set some time aside each day to do things that are contributing to a happy heart.



Spend time with the people who matter most. They deserve it and so do you. Love and a positive self-reflection can bring lots of extra comfort and joy.


A good book

Sometimes a good book can take your mind on a total vacation. Other books, such as daily readings, are short commitments in time, but can yield great food for thought and an uplifting way to begin or finish each day.



Get some kind of movement each day. It’s easy to put off training or exercise because time feels tight or you’re tired. Training is a gift you give to yourself. Despite feeling like you don’t have time, if you can get your lift in, meditate through a yoga flow, or get your sweat on in any way that feels good, without a doubt, you’ll feel better after you do. Even something as short as 15-20 minutes will do the trick.



It’s fun to deviate from the regimen of a strict meal plan. Unfortunately, holiday parties, drinks, and baked goods can run counter to our efforts in the gym. While you’ll want to avoid the slippery slope of holiday extras, give yourself some freedom to enjoy good food in good company.



Giving can be such a gratifying feeling. To see someone else light up because you thought of him or her, is double joy. Giving doesn’t have to be expensive either—a homemade treat, a sweet card, an act of kindness. It truly is all about the thought.



Take stock of your achievements, both big and small. It’s easy to get caught up in your long to-do lists, holiday shopping, and year-end reviews. Make sure you give yourself credit for what you have accomplished, on a daily basis.


Know Your Limitations

Practice saying “no” from time to time if you’re feeling overextended. Often, people don’t know if you’re spreading yourself too thin, it’s up to you to be the gatekeeper of your boundaries and your sanity.


Sing, Dance, and Be Goofy!

Break from the holiday stress by taking a few moments to be goofy, whether alone, with your family, or a friend. Laughter is truly one of the best medicines.



Don’t skimp on taking care of you with a bubble bath, a spa treatment, a yoga class, or just a good night’s sleep.



Again, take the pressure off of yourself. Wherever you are, and whomever you’re with, is exactly where you are supposed to be. Feeling rushed? Don’t. Stop right there. You’re right on time for this very moment.


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ― Melody Beattie


Enjoy each moment this holiday season.



About The Author: Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at

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