Wheww! Here it comes…the holidays are about to be in full effect starting tomorrow! Yikes! I just looked at my calendar for the next month, between Christmas parties, kid functions, Pilates, and gearing up for the New Year and everything health. I am already starting to feel the anxiety so with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s ideas and my little add on’s, here is a guide to staying zen for the holidays.

Get Outdoors:

Getting outdoors can keep those nasty bugs from taking over your system, get outdoors for some fresh air, even on those blustery days. Decorate the outside of your home for the holidays, play in the snow with the kids, (if you’re lucky enough to already have some.) or go for a walk and take the dog.

Sleep More:

Ever notice how in the winter you just want to hibernate. Well while you have the warm and cozy, holiday-lit filled, sweet smelling home, live it up! Get into bed a little earlier, grab that book you’ve been dying to read, or grab a cup of hot chamomile tea and relax. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays it seems a little crazy to even think that’s possible. But with all the benefits you couldn’t possibly not want the extra sleep, it improves your mood, skin and hair, and boost your energy all at the same time.

Be Grateful:

The holidays are a time to be grateful for everything we have, family, friends, your health, a home, someone to celebrate with, even good food. Best way I stay grateful is by keeping a journal. Everyday I write down 5 things I am most grateful for. It puts into perspective the silly stressful things that sometimes seem to take over the day. I honestly believe, when you acknowledge what you’re grateful for it actually opens the door for more grateful things to walk in.

Just Breathe:

Breathe? What is that during the holidays! There’s no time for that!! Try to focus on taking some down time. Try some calming breaths, inhale through your nose, trying to fill your lungs completely, exhale through your mouth. Try some meditation or yoga to calm your mind and spirit. Even Pilates is a great mind-body connection that focuses on breathing also.

Eat Clean:

Make sure to eat some-what clean this holiday season. Yes we all want to indulge in pumpkin pie, chocolate martinis, and endless mounds of cookies. So, be sure to include whole super foods, eat lots of veggies, dark greens, fruits, and good for you grains. Think about bringing your own dish to your family dinner or Christmas party, then you’re guaranteed to eat something healthy.

Incorporate Oils:

Oils are great for everything! Use lemon to help detoxify, lavender to help you hit the pillow a little quicker, digestion is great for all those over-stuffing dinners, grapefruit for holiday hangovers, and serenity for a calm mind.