Take a deep breath…

16833781_SHave you made a list of all the gifts you need to buy yet? Do you have your greeting cards ready to mail? When is the office Christmas party?

Are you feeling stressed yet?

Once the holiday season gets under way, it doesn’t take long for the stress that accompanies this most wonderful time of the year to set in. With these tips, you can not only embrace the good cheer that is supposed to be the hallmark of this season but also share it with others.

First, just breathe. Really. According to Harvard Health Publications, deep breathing is a relaxation technique that will help calm you. It will bring in more oxygen, which can slow down your heartbeat and even lower blood pressure.

Now, get organized. You are probably thinking that this is easier said than done, but a little organization can go a long way toward helping you enjoy the holidays. Put everything you need to do – for the holidays, for work, for your normal routine – on a planner. It doesn’t matter if you use your phone, a calendar or daily planner, or a dry erase board on the kitchen wall; what’s important is that you have everything down in one place. This is especially important if you have children who will have school programs and parties of their own. Once you can see what you have coming up, it will be easier to work out a schedule and a plan for getting it all accomplished.

Then, make some time for you and make some time for others. When you are constantly worrying about all that you have to do, it is impossible to appreciate the spirit of the holidays. That’s why taking a little time for yourself is absolutely necessary. Go for a walk. Get a manicure or pedicure – or both! Get a massage. It’s a great way to relieve stress. You might be surprised that another great way to relieve stress is actually to take the time to help others. Volunteering lets you help others and increases your happiness at the same time.

Finally, enjoy yourself. Even if there are some things that don’t get done, remember that the holiday season is really about spending time with family and friends. So keep calm and merry on.

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