Have you ever noticed time seems to speed up this time of year? And our calendars get squeezed every which way with commitments to attend parties, dinners, and social obligations. AND not only do we have social obligations, but we have to find time to shop for gifts, time to get our nails done, hair done, wash the car, family….eeekk I’m stressing myself out just writing this!

Well I am here to give you some RELIEF and hope! I am going to help you this holiday season and assist you so you don’t have to have another holiday season of rush, rush, rush and frustration and even sickness!

My friends have always commented- “Cindy how do you stay so calm during this crazy holiday time.” I tell them it is because I take really good care of myself in order to combat the time crunch and demands this time of year can bring to me. I find that planning, life balance and tuning into my needs become the most important tasks to accomplish everyday during this time of year.

So let me share with you my secret strategies so you can experience a new type of holiday season, one filled with peace, health and JOY!

1. Tune into your Basic Needs (food, sleep, water, rest & relaxation)
I have talked about this before, how important it is for you to eat regularly; woman 5 small meals a day, men 6 meals- each meal consisting of 10grams fat, 20 grams of lean protein, and 30 grams of carbohydrates. This is the way A Week in the Zone: A Quick Course in the Healthiest Diet for You suggests you eat. This way of feeding your body keeps your blood sugar steady so you are less irritable, more patient, and your brain functions better, not to mention you help-out your metabolism and fat burning capability as well.

Also, make sure you get enough sleep so you are patient and alert and happy. Hydrate yourself to prevent sickness and stress on the body; it also helps your metabolism. Make sure you rest and have personal time so you can replenish your body, so you can keep on going and be that cheery self you are!

2. Plan Ahead, Be Organized!
Being prepared helps you avoid the stress inherent of this time of year. I recommend getting your shopping done early- like this month! Knock it out in one weekend. Sit down right now and make a list of all the people you need gifts for and all the parties you need goodies for. Then make a list of the stores you need to buy from, or shop online to make it really easy! Map out in your calendar the days and times you will accomplish this in the next few weeks. I take advantage of little chunks of time between clients of phone calls to run and do a series of errands. I carefully plan out the route and tasks needed to be accomplished.

3. Shop in the late evening or early morning-
Many stores this time of year have extended hours. When you do your planning (as mentioned above), call the stores and see how late they are opened till. I found that shopping late at night at my favorite stores was peaceful, productive AND A LOT LESS CROWDED!

4. Exercise the stress away-
I exercise almost everyday to reduce my daily stress and to promote my health and happiness…and I LOVE THOSE ENDORPHINS (the natural happy drug-anti-depressant)! Make sure you keep up your exercise ESPECIALLY during the holidays-to lessen extra stress and to help with all those excess GOODIE CALORIES you may pick up at all the parties. Even if it’s just a 20 minute brisk walk, with stretching and deep breathing. You will be amazed how it reenergizes you!

5. Manage your Emotions-
Calming yourself down and having a good time during the holidays I would think would be important to you?? I teach my clients an emotional management tool to assist you in connecting to what you need; these techniques help you tune into your inner world so that you react to people and experiences in a more positive way. By tuning into what you need and want and then gently calming yourself down with inner-talk you’ll mange just about any stressful situation better; with patience and a smile.

6. Watch the alcohol-
Most holiday events will involve alcohol. Be careful when drinking holiday punch or any alcohol on an empty stomach. You my arrive at a party hungry and immediately go for a drink. You may guzzle it due to your deprivation of calories/sugar in your bloodstream and may then grab another quickly to restore your sugar balance, and before you know it, your Blood Alcohol Limit is way over the limit and you are ready to dance on the tables or say something to embarrass yourself or your boss. Eat first and sip alcohol, or go for sparkling apple cider or soda as a refreshing non-alcoholic alternative like I do now. Please don’t drink and drive, remember, it is not worth the possible loss of life (yours or someone else’s), privileges or $$ hassle!

7. Set Boundaries-Be careful saying “yes”-
Many people end up having more invitations and social obligations than they do time. Learn that when you say YES you may also have to say NO! Learn to say- “maybe” and “I will let you know.” Then carefully plan out which events benefit you the most; those that are the best return on your investment- people, place/distance to travel and happy benefit. I teach people how to honor themselves by setting boundaries. I give you the language so you feel good and also whomever you are talking to feels good too!

8. Shield yourself from negativity people or places-
Staying positive and stress-free during the holidays honors you the best! How do you do this you ask? By tuning into yourself and asking yourself these 3 questions honestly- “Who do you want to be around and where do you want to be AND where do you NOT want to be?” We react the most positively when we are in an environment that we feel happy, safe and taken care of. If you find yourself not feeling this way you should make different decisions who and where to be this year. DO IT FOR YOUR HEALTH!

9.Reward yourself through celebration-
After all is said and done, you deserve to have some fun and happiness during this supposedly happy time of year! RIGHT? So make sure you have some fun, happiness and celebrate what you want and what you feel this time of year represents for you!

All these tips I offer here are to assist you in having a great holiday season. Treat yourself with love and respect and you too will have an amazing and glorious holiday season!

Remember: In order to be the person you have never been, In order to have the life and relationships you have never had, You must do what you have never done before: Give me a call or contact me so I can support you (and your relationships) in having the best life you've ever had!

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You may, as long as you include the following information along with this article: Dr. Cindy Brown, author of The Cinderella System, helps women to love their bodies, enjoy pleasure, learn how to fulfill their needs and live the amazing, happy life they deserve and desire! If you want to attract, have and keep the relationship you really, really want, subscribe now to my award winning weekly online newsletter Relationship Intelligence and get my FREE Special Report and Audio Class at http://www.SuccessfulrelationshipsNow,com