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Holiday Treasure Chest

The holiday season may arouse a mixture of emotions. Family, friends, food, parties, gifts. Events filling up the calendar. All with the potential to be stimulating in pleasant excitement or nervous tension.

While you go through the next few days, fill up your own personal treasure chest with some coping tools to help you stay well.

Holiday Survival Tips Plan ahead Eat a low-fat breakfast and lunch so that you can splurge a few extra fat grams at the party. Eat a small snack before the party - don't arrive hungry. Exercise before the party You will be ready to add a few more calories to your evening. Physical activity - whether it be rigorous or simple yoga stretching - can help clear up mental stress and leave you more refreshed. Mingle AWAY from the food Just standing near the food is enticing and dangerous. Try to take just 5 pieces of food (stick to nuts, veggies and fruit) and line them up on your plate. Enjoy them one by one, with lots of time in between.

Repeat with 5 more if you really want them. And then move away! Taking a little handful here, and then another handful, and another… can really add up unconsciously. Use a plate - don't eat directly out of the bowl. Avoid the "slip and shine" food - the stuff that has a lot of fat. Quit eating by a set time and avoid the munching. Before you Have it, Halve it! Keep this mantra: "Halve it and you can have it." It's all about the measure of enjoyment. Life is about those simple pleasures - but just take a portion of the yummy sweets or share with a friend. Don't drink all your calories Be careful with the alcohol intake. Add club soda or sparkling water to the punch or fruit juice. Opt for the pure and simple: lemon with water. 100 tasks completed does not equal meaningful Choose which parties you are going to and rest in between. Make the gift shopping easier by avoiding the malls. Decide what really needs to be done, and what can simply wait. Give Receive Give As you add a gift to your closet, take something out for donation. Make a donation to a charity in someone's name as your gift. Keep Good Company and Take Care of Yourself too Make some tea and enjoy some moments of quiet for yourself too - it is your gift to yourself!

Step out for a few minutes to get some fresh air. Breathe! Practice deep breathing when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Live in the Moment!

Don't judge yourself for overdoing it or feeling stressed - no need to be "perfect" all the time. One event is not the sum of your life; there is always tomorrow to exercise too.

See Wellness Within

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