Stress levels seem to reach an all-time high around holiday season. Pressure to spend, eat rich foods, skip exercise, attend all the parties in town, and please everyone (except yourself) have a way of turning holiday cheer into holiday tension. I would like to share with you some tips on how to keep your cool.

Control your holiday spending.
Unmanageable bills, excessive credit card purchases, and lots of unnecessary items gotten during those “bargain sales” – just one or all of these will not only give you major, major headaches but can also produce sleepless nights once the season’s high is over. Decide what you can spend and diligently stick to your budget. Don’t get carried away by the lavish and many times misleading advertising. Remember that gifts should come from the heart, not necessarily the pocket!

Get enough rest and exercise.
Too little sleep produces anxiety and intensifies depression. Your body systems are not created to be abused by being high na high today, then low na low tomorrow. Get enough sleep at night; take a few short naps during the day.
There’s no better remedy for insomnia and restlessness than exercise. Brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day three or four times a week not only can reduce your risk for heart problems, but it also improves muscle strength, endurance, and over time, strengthens your immune system so you will be less susceptible to the season’s colds and coughs. Brisk walking, especially with your family and friends, is a wonderful way to reduce the tension of the Christmas holidays.

Party sensibly.
Too many parties equal too much eating and drinking resulting in too much weight gain! Too many parties weaken the immune system by exposing you to cigarette smoke, your companion’s cough, and as the crowds increase, too little oxygen and too much heat; too loud noises from blaring music and crowds of people can damage your eardrums; too many parties seriously disrupt your sleep cycle.

My advice is to party sensibly, one party at a time, with adequate periods of rest, exercise and enjoying the simple pleasures of family. Above all, take time out to pray, to anticipate what Christ’s coming can do for your life, and to joyfully welcome Him into your heart.

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