There’s nothing like the hustle and bustle of the holidays to raise your stress levels through the roof! So many things to do in so little time—decorate, bake, host, shop, wrap, plan, send cards—the list is as long as Santa’s! Unfortunately, all that stress can make you start looking as old as the Jolly Old Elf as well—no offense, big guy. So how can you reduce stress and avoid its harmful effects on your health? Here are some stress management tips to cope with the holiday hoopla:

Accept what you can’t control. You might not be able to change a stressful situation, but you can change how you react to it. Blizzard conditions keeping you from the mall? Say goodbye to your frustration and hello to online shopping! The world’s longest line to sit on Santa’s lap? Laugh it off with a loved one and embrace the joy around you.

Stay positive. You’d be surprised how much a good attitude can make a difference. Keep smiling!

Slow down. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a walk or sit and rest for 15 minutes. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and yoga.

Manage your time. Be realistic about what you can get done and give yourself enough time to do it.

Live healthy. Eating well, exercising daily, and getting plenty of sleep all help with stress relief. Avoid alcohol and smoking and reduce caffeine and sugar. Try sipping soothing green tea—it has less than half the caffeine of coffee and is full of antioxidants and theanine, an amino acid which has a calming effect on your nerves.

Identify sources. Keep track of the things that cause you anxiety and try to avoid them as much as possible. If you know you get stressed by leaving things until the last minute, make a plan to do a little each day to prevent ending up in such a situation.

Say no. It’s okay to turn down a party or not volunteer to head up the cookie exchange if it makes you feel less overwhelmed.

Pamper Yourself. Do a little something for yourself by visiting Dr. Lisa J. Learn for a facial, chemical peel, or other treatment to counteract the stress that can too often end up written all over your face! Make an appointment by calling our office near Sunrise, FL at (954) 380-8411, then enjoy a happy, stress-free holiday! Ho-Ho-Ho!

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