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Holiday Tips

Tip 1: Make Your Own Gifts

Consider making one item you can give to everyone — spiced nuts, herbed olive oil, canned produce from your garden, or homemade syrups and bitters.

Crafting your gifts is another DIY option. At first glance, this strategy may seem even more stressful, but the key is small-scale production that can be accomplished in a day or two. For more stress-less gift ideas, see “Mindful Gifts.”

Tip 2: Tackle To-Dos Together

Run your holiday errands or gift wrap with a friend. Tackling to-dos together can help you be more present versus just trying to check something off a list. It’s a great time to catch up, too!

Tip 3: Schedule Self-Care

Make time for self-care — bodywork, workouts, yoga, meditation, a few hours of quiet downtime with just your sofa and a good book. Showing up calm, happy and open-hearted for festivities (even if every last little thing didn’t get done) is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others any time of the year. Get more ideas in “The Art of Self-Care.”

Tip 4: Fit in Fitness

Your usual workout regimen may need some adjustments during the bustling season. Try HIIT-style circuits you can tackle in five- or 10-minute increments during the day if longer windows aren’t open. For a do-anywhere body-weight workout, visit “Body-Weight Training.”

Tip 5: Embrace New Traditions

Novel locations and new routines can give longstanding traditions a much-needed shakeup and create delightful holiday moments. Consider switching things around this year. Go to your in-laws instead of hosting, or meet the extended family at a nice restaurant so no one has to cook or clean up. Find more ideas in “Reinventing Traditions.”

Trip 6: Prep in Advance

If you’re hosting a family gathering or party, make 75 percent of the meals and snacks a day or two before your party. You can also pre-chop ingredients to speed up cooking time. Get more menu tips at “Celebrate! A Holiday Party Menu.”

Tip 7: Breathe

Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat.

The end of the year signals a time to appreciate the cycle we’ve just completed, and embrace with hope and optimism the new cycle that’s about to be revealed. Whenever you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed this holiday season, take a few deep, centering breaths. Inhaling and exhaling with intention helps calm your sympathetic nervous system, allowing you the opportunity to consciously refocus on what truly matters to you.

Illustrations by: Dan Sipple

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