I don’t know about you, but things have been a little stressful around my house the past few months. And with the holidays fast upon us, all I need to do is try to match the funds in my bank account to the gifts on my Christmas list, to send me into full-on freak-out mode. I am still waiting on that magical age when I will have a real handle on my finances. You know. Like a legit grown up.

I am, however, an optimist by nature, so I don’t believe in dwelling on things that are out of my control or that have no immediate solution that can be acted upon. Seriously- Just don’t do it. Instead, I have committed to these five things that are proven to actually lessen the effects of stress on your mind and body. There are loads more that could be added to this list, but I want to keep it simple because the holidays are busy and I wanted to set a realistic goal that I could actually achieve.e209eb1e-1c4d-4e38-8677-7ec0c94a456b

  1. Yoga Every Damned Day– Omygosh- just do it! It’s SO easy, and you will feel SOoooo much better. I even found a video to get you started,here. It’s only 15 minutes. 15 freakin minutes of your morning that will lessen your stress and make you feel better emotionally as well as physically. I could do this during that time in the morning where I sit and stare at my coffee for 15 minutes. Yes- thats when I’m going to do this routine. Every. Damned.Day
  2. Read Something Inspirational-Every day for the rest of the year, I am going to read one thing that inspires me. Or listen to something inspirational. What an easy habit to create that makes such a profound difference on the way we handle the situations in life. Since it is the holiday season, I will probably read an advent devotional to keep me centered on the reason for the season. This simple little act helps me not to be overwhelmed with all of the materialistic trappings that our culture is so great at placing in front of us all the time.
  3. Take Vitamins– For me that is a multi vitamin, B Complex, D-3, Fish oil and St Johns Wort. I eat a really balanced diet, but I can tell such a difference in my energy levels when I am taking these vitamins and supplements regularly.
  4. Exercise-I recently finished a 14 week program of major weight lifting and nutrition tracking, and to be honest, even though I loved it, it left me a little burnt out. But without a doubt, exercising each day, helps you to combat stress, along with a whole host of other benefits. I don’t have a lot of time during the holidays so, I have made a quick-no nonsense workout to do, that will get my blood pumping and keep my joints and muscles moving and feeling great.I’m going to aim for 3-4 times each week:

15 minute run, Push ups: 3 sets of 10, Crunches: 3 sets of 10, Kettlebell swings: 3 sets              of 10, Air squats: 3 sets of 10

5. Drink Less Alcohol– Ha! Ha! I Oh good lord-am KIDDING! This post was about REALISTIC things to lessen stress in your life, so drinking less over the holidays isn’t very realistic for me personally. Drinking More Water however, is totally doable and does help lessen the effects of stress on the body. I will shoot for a gallon of water a day. I have a gallon jug that I fill up in the morning, and I pour from it all day.

My goal is to do to all 5 of these things, regularly, through the rest of 2016, but even if you only choose to do one or two of these, it can greatly help in regulating and reducing your stress levels this holiday season. So give it a shot and enjoy some peace and relaxation with your family and friends, just celebrating and being present with those you love.