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11 Ways to De-Stress this December

This year I decided to stop being so stressed out throughout December. The following are a few easy to apply tips and tricks to de-stress this December.

1) Continue to work out! Working out helps keep you sane, keeps any anxiety at bay, plus you won't gain that dreaded holiday weight.

2) Have a plan. You need a plan for gifts and a plan for food and a plan for shopping for all of it. It helps to get my shopping done as early as possible. Now, I am not an October shopper, however getting my shopping done by the 10th of Dec. makes me feel like I have a head start; plus if I forget something, I can always go get it.

A good rule of thumb is to have your shopping done at least 4 days ahead of time. For food shoot for 2 days. Perhaps the most stressful thing about the holidays is expecting you can just go out and buy something only to find out they don't have it, the lines are too long, or everyone is moving at a glacial pace.

* Bonus: Have a mapped out plan, including all props for your Elf on the Shelf ideas! This is a huge stresor for parents! A little planning will save you literally hours of panic throughout the month.

3) Order gifts and groceries online. Services like Shipt and Amazon make shopping a breeze and you don't have to spend time in traffic or waiting in line.

4) Have extra gifts on hand. I am terrible at remembering things. I always make sure to have extra gifts in case I have forgotten someone or I receive an unexpected gift. Something like homemade cookies is a great gift for those unexpected neighbors that drop by with something for you.

5) Be generous. We need to remember the reason for the season and it's easy to be grateful in November and then think to yourself “screw that I've got presents to buy”. You will feel better about your holidays knowing that you have helped someone less fortunate. If giving money or gifts isn’t your thing, you can always help out by giving your time or talent.

6) Ditch the traditions you hate. I learned this the hard way. As it turns out, other people may dislike them too, don't waste your holiday season repeating traditions that you resent.

7) Do something fun! A light walk, a show, a concert or if you're local to Freeland,the light show at the Tittabawassee Park is fantastic! Find a way to bring a little joy into your December. Holiday cheer helps you take a step back and enjoy what it's really all about.