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How to Have A Stress-Free Holiday Season

Welp, it’s here. We’re officially one week away from Thanksgiving and heading into one of the busiest times of the year.

So before everything ramps up … let’s take some time to get prepared NOW!

A little bit of effort now will help you cruise through the holidays without the stress.

And it all starts with taking care of YOU.

When life gets hectic, one of the first things to drop off our to-do lists is our self-care routine. Which is ironic, since taking a little time for yourself each day will help you do everything else better.

Here are some tips to stay ahead of the game:

1. Try to make a simple meal plan each week during the holidays, so you can avoid too many on-the-go meals. My biggest downfall this time of year is resorting to eating a ton of meals out at restaurants because I'm too busy or tired to cook. So this is where prepping ahead of time or having healthy frozen meals on hand can really help out!

Typical holiday foods are notoriously high in salt, fat, and sugar, which will just leave you feeling bloated and gross. But more importantly, eating sugary foods affects the good bacteria in your gut (that helps you fight off cold and flu viruses), which obviously can have a negative impact on your immune system.

Save these foods for the ACTUAL holiday if you really want to indulge. But that only comes down to 2-3 days tops and with a solid plan you'll have no excuses for the extra indulging all those days in between.

What are some easy meals you can throw together at the last minute? My go-to’s are turkey sandwiches and veggies, chili, stews, and soups, or pre-roasted veggies with some grilled chicken.

Search “sheet pan recipes” on Google if you want to find some quick and easy meals that won’t take a lot of time. Or if you have an instant pot, get your money's worth this week and just throw all your food in there!

2. Don’t compromise on your exercise time. Keep your immune system happy and get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like a brisk walk) most days of the week.

One study found regular walking appears to lead to having more infection-fighting white blood cells. Not only that, but exercise can help you fight stress. When you work out, your body releases more feel-good, mood-boosting hormones. And let's be real, we all need that this time of year.

3. Make a list (or two!). If you have a hectic holiday schedule, start planning NOW so you can do as much ahead of time as possible. Running around at the last minute trying to get everything done is an absolute nightmare! I know it because I do it almost every year. Not today, Satan!

Put together a checklist of everything you have to do, and then do it (even better, delegate it!). It's okay to ask for help <3 .

4. Relax. Make time for family and friends, and enjoying old traditions or making new ones.

Let go of expectations of how you think things “should” go, and enjoy them as they are. It’s often the things that happen out of the ordinary that we look back on with a smile. You'd rather look back and remember some crazy thing your Dad said while playing a board game than the mashed potatoes being too lumpy. It doesn't matter, just enjoy yourself and your family.

If you’re going to be alone or working over the holidays, make time to mark the occasion! Watch a movie, eat a special meal, or treat yourself to something special.

Keep an eye on your inbox, because I’ve got great things coming your way over the next few weeks.

If you found these tips helpful, make sure you check out my recent post about the POWER OF IMPERFECT ACTION. It's a great one for this time of year as we head into a hectic holiday season. You don't have to be perfect, you just need to act.

Have a great day!

Ryan Stec,

True Grit Strength