The idealized picture of the holidays portrayed in advertising, entertainment and social media often doesn't match reality. For many of us, the pleasure of gathering with family and friends is overshadowed by stress, and it's no wonder. The season can demand a dizzying array of responsibilities — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.
During the holidays this year, make changes that help you maintain enough energy to enjoy yourself. As the old saying goes "Perfect is the enemy of good." Accept that gifts and gatherings don't have to be flawless. Turn down all but the most enticing invitations, and delegate or drop as many responsibilities as you can. Schedule downtime totally removed from your to-do lists.
If you've maintained healthy habits all year, prioritize keeping up with them through the holiday season. Exercise regularly, eat healthy and stick to your budget. If you've aimed for these habits but haven't achieved them, don't wait for New Year's to start. Replace family potlucks with outdoor group walks — you'll have a head start on your resolutions and enjoy more balance during the holidays.