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Do you ever feel overwhelmed around the holidays? As exciting as this time of year can be, we can also add a lot of unneeded stress upon ourselves. This year, let’s commit to taking on only what we can enjoyably handle and letting the rest go without guilt. Try these simple perspective changes if you find yourself in a mental rut:
 
1. Holiday Gift Shopping: If finances are tight this year, set limits. Perhaps you trim your gift list down to immediate family members only and write heartfelt cards for the rest. Or maybe you choose a dollar amount to spend on each person on your list. Setting clear boundaries for yourself will help you stay focused on what is most important this season.
 
2. Sweets and Goodies: Do you feel like your clean eating routine gets derailed every December? Look inward! When you’re in situations where sweets abound, take some deep breaths and check in with hunger signals. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. Stop when you are truly full. And don’t feel obligated to eat leftovers. Sweets hold up well in the freezer!
 
3. Cold Weather Blues: If you’re used to going outside or being very active in the warmer months, the chilly weather can halt our exercise routines. You could definitely bundle up and continue your outdoor jogs or you could use this time as a way to explore new activities. Virtual boot camps, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and HIIT are all great class ideas that you can do from the comfort of your living room.
 
4. Tight on Time: Do you feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get all of your holiday preparations finished? Plan, plan, plan! Before bed each night, map out what tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow. Utilize your phone’s calendar and list apps, or use a good old-fashioned weekly planner. Getting organized in your mind helps you stay focused and not waste time trying to remember everything! Also, PRIORITIZE. Check off the most critical items first so you will have a feeling of real accomplishment. 
 
The holidays can seem unusually busy, but just remember that you don’t have to be perfect. Enjoy this time of year. Savor the moments you have with loved ones…and the cookies that go along with it. 
 
By Jules Baratta, HealthEase fitness professional