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Holiday Stress

Preparing for Holiday Stress and Weight Gain

Southern FallIt’s that time of year again.  Fall means that the Holiday season is not far off.  And that means Stress and Weight Gain are lurking, waiting to pounce again this year.  Stress can elevate your body’s levels of cortisol, and continuously high levels have been linked to long-term health impacts.

Well this year can be different!  You have the power to nip all the stress and weight gain possibilities in the bud, way before they poke their ugly heads into your days.  How can this be so, you ask?  Taking steps now, before the start of the craziness will make all the difference when the time comes.  Small steps over time make big differences.

Start by making lists of presents to purchase.  Be realistic in how much to spend, don’t go over your budget.  Stress from large credit card bills is no fun in the new year.  Find ways to give your time, your presence rather than presents.  Much more fulfilling and easier on the budget.  And usually a lot of fun as well.

Decide which parties and family events you can attend and so NO to the rest.  Keep the list small and doable so you can actually enjoy your time togetheChristmasr.  Running, tired, stressed and irritated do not make for fun party guests.  NO is a wonderful word to use when your schedule is booked to the max!  USE IT!  Say NO! and then breathe deeply.  The world will continue to spin even if you don’t make it to all the events of the season.  You will, however, appreciate and savor the ones you do attend.

Keep the decorating to minimum this year.  Pick a few favorites and display them.  Add holiday music, a selection of your favorites to set the mood each day.  Put lights on timers so you are not running around turning on trees, window displays, outside lights.  Keep it Simple!  Personally, I like replacing the throws, pillows and area rugs with holiday themed items along with those battery operated candles that flicker like real candles.  High impact visually, low impact physically.

Keeping stress lower makes for less stress eating and less weight gain.  Preparing ahead of time for attending a party will help with 15-412_180MealInfographicthe mindless snacking that can occur at parties.  I eat one of my Shaklee 180 Meal-in-a-Bars or Snack Bars before each party to help with the empty calorie munching that I am prone to indulge.  Keeping my protein intake high, as well as the full feeling I get with the fiber in the bars and shakes,  lets me enjoy a dessert item or two without guilt.  Holidays mean treats to me, so keeping those treats at a manageable limit is desirable.  And I have found that I truly enjoy the treat if it is carefully chosen, savored and admired, rather than stuffed in my mouth out of hunger!

When all else fails, and the stress level begins to rise, reach for Shaklee Stress Relief Complex!    Stress Relief Complex contains a blend of clinically tested ingredients and has been designed to support a calm, more relaxed state without causing drowsiness.  Stress can elevate your body’s levels of cortisol, and continuously high levels have been linked to long-term health impacts. Stress Relief Complex was designed to help support your body’s response to stress.

b22030Also, drinking lots of pure, filtered water, Green Matcha Energizing Tea along with Pomegranate Energizing Tea keep me hydrated and energized each day no matter the schedule.  And make certain you get plenty of exercise and sleep this holiday season!  Be good to yourself, Elise.

Handling Holiday Stress

Handling Holiday Stress is a full time job for some of us!  It seems to build more each year, starting earlier and staying around longer.  Stress is not healthy for anyone, so reducing stress is a must during the Holidays.  Now don’t think that you have to give up everything and take a vacation during the month of December to avoid all that stress.  No, but you do have to re-think the things you say “Yes”to as well as the amount of cooking, decorating and shopping you are doing. Our goal is to enjoy the holidays, not endure them!

Saying “No” can be a good thing!  It is hard to say “No” at times, especially when you like to please people and you are good at the task you are asked to fulfill.  But often we take on additional tasks that others can do as well or even better, leaving us with less stress and more time to really enjoy the event.  So look carefully at your schedule and don’t be afraid to say “No” to some of those many requests for help you get each year.

Delegate!  Alright, you don’t want to say “No” to some things, but you don’t really have the time to fully accomplish that task either without going sleepless for several night.  Rather than show up sleep-deprived, delegate the task to another member of your family or your office staff.  Look around and see who has been waiting in the wings to learn a new skill and show what they are made of!  You will be pleasantly surprised at the talent that is around you waiting to grow and learn new skills.  From your spouse to your children to your mother-in-law, there are many hands available to help if you will only ask.  Teaching someone else is fun, rewarding and less stressful than always doing it yourself.

Watch your spending!  Again, saying “no” to a present is often hard.  Reality is cold and not always filled with boxes of presents for everyone in your life.  Avoid buying gifts because you feel obligated.  Have a frank discussion with friends and close family about gift giving to limit the amount spent or even eliminate gift giving all together.  Some larger family/friend groups often draw names so they are buying for only one in a large extended family/friend group.  Others do a “Dirty Santa” gift swap where each person purchases one gift of a certain dollar amount, not gender specific, for a gift swap game. It is a fun time, with lots of stealing of gifts as the game progresses, with everyone having fun and getting a nice gift.

Gifts that Keep on Giving!  Most of us have more “stuff” than we need or want.  Why not purchase gifts for the little ones, something small and fun, while making donations to your favorite charity in the names of those on your gift giving list.  Supporting the local Women’s Shelter, Orphanage, Children’s Hospital or a Scholarship fund for a deserving graduating High School Senior are just some of the many options.  Writing a personal note of Thanksgiving for someone in your life and letting them know about the donation you made in their honor is a special way to give gifts that keep on giving.

Keep focused on the reason for the season.  Don’t get so caught up in the must-dos and ought-to-dos that you loose sight of the reason you are getting together with family and friends.  Enjoy the time with them and forget the fact that the Christmas tree is not totally full of decorations or that the ham was cooked by the local deli and not you! 

Over the years, the memories created during these celebrations are more valuable than any store bought gift.  Time is a gift you can give everyone on your list if you plan well and forget the “shoulds and oughts” of life.  Enjoy where you are and who you are with at each event, remain in the present and forget about presents!  And if you need a little help winding down after the parties, take a Shaklee Stress Relief Complex like I do and you will release the stress naturally without negative side effects.  Have a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season!

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