Cindy DeCarolis

Simple Strategies For Stress-Free Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful, fun, and joyful season spent with family and friends. At the same time, it can generate a lot of stress for many reasons and in many ways. In addition, the holidays can take us off track when it comes to healthy daily habits.

Some people (and I have done this myself) have a holiday mindset that says it’s okay to eat, drink, not exercise, stay out late, because it’s the holidays; I will get back to my healthy habits in January.

Following are some of my best strategies for reducing stress and maintaining healthy habits while still enjoying the holidays:

  1. Don’t wait until January. As much as possible maintain healthy habits. If there is a new habit that you want to add to your daily routine, don’t make it a New Year’s resolution – start small, but start now.
  2. Plan ahead for holiday shopping. Schedule the date and time on your calendar and be sure it’s at a time that is not going to cause you more stress. Ideally, a time when the malls and shops you will be going to are not going to be super busy. Even if you are just shopping online, set aside time to focus and try not to go online during peak times.
  3. Set a budget that is within your means. Finances is one of the biggest stress triggers. Avoid it by sticking to your budget – pay cash for everything or track what you are spending on credit cards and set the money aside so you can pay off your balance in January.
  4. Establish a strategy for last minute invitations. One of the joys of the holidays is spending time with the people you love. However, accepting every invitation can be overwhelming. Decide how many events you can and will attend and regretfully decline invitations if you need a break.
  5. Make time for yourself and your family. Reserve time for yourself, to exercise, take a yoga class, meditate, whatever you need. Also, carve out time to connect with your immediate family and cherish special family traditions.
  6. Strive to maintain a balance of about 75% nutritious foods to 25% indulgences. The holidays call for lots of parties and meals with special foods that are often prepared only during the holidays. It is okay to enjoy special holiday treats. Be selective – choose your favorites and leave the rest.
  7. Don’t go to parties hungry. A bowl of soup or even just a smoothie about an hour before an event will take the edge of your hunger making it easier not to overeat.
  8. Bring a favorite healthy and delicious dish to gatherings. If you have food allergies or sensitivities this will guarantee at least one dish you can enjoy.
  9. Just move. The holidays are busy. You may not be able to keep up with your usual exercise routine, but try to do something every day. Friends want to meet for a drink? Suggest a walk instead. This has the added benefit of getting some fresh air. A leisurely stroll after a large meal will help you to stimulate digestion.
  10. Stay hydrated. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of fresh H2O. Have a glass of water upon waking. Drink a glass of water 15 to 30 minutes before each meal. Keep a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day. At parties, drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.
  11. Get eight to ten hours of sleep each night. Going to sleep and waking at the same time every day helps you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Turn off all of your devices an hour before bedtime and keep them out of the bedroom. Create a relaxing evening routine to wind down for sleep.
  12. Be Mindful. Pay attention to the people you are with and what you are doing. I like to meditate in the morning. I often listen to guided meditations which helps me to stay focused. This morning practice helps me to set myself up for the day ahead. Try to set aside 10 minutes during the day to sit in stillness. If you are new to meditation start by focusing on your breath. If you find your mind wandering, just return to your breath. That is the practice.
  13. Be grateful for all that you have. Remembering to be thankful fosters a heart of gratitude. Share your abundance with someone else. Seeing the needs of others and helping them decreases anxiety and depression.
  14. Finally, have fun and laugh. Laughing and enjoying time with our near and dear ones is the best medicine!

Wishing you a holiday season full of good health, peace, bliss, and balance!

At Blissful Balance LLC, our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Contact me at for a complimentary consultation. You can also visit doTerra to purchase essential oils.