6 Holiday Stress Busters

I have a theory regarding holiday stress: In the month of December, high levels of Cortisol (stress hormone) turn 80 percent of the American population into fruitcakes–just like the stale one delivered to your house yesterday. 

Because on top of adding 675 things to your to-do list, you’ve now got to deal with the strained relationship with your dad and two brothers. Bummer. Here, then, are my tips to keep your stress down a notch, so that you don’t turn into a fruitcake or hurl the mistletoe at an obnoxious relative.

1. Simplify

Cut your to-do list in half. In December??? Yep. Keep on asking yourself this question: Will I die tomorrow if this thing doesn’t get done?

2. Prioritize.

Santa needs to put something under the tree for maybe your daughter, mother, husband, and two best friends. He need not use plastic for 300 of your closest friends and their cousins.

3. Stay flexible.

When it comes to the holidays, you had better be amenable to last-minute changes. Because the honey-baked ham you bought for Christmas dinner won’t work for your brother’s Muslim girlfriend and her extended family of 14. Call 1-800-Turkeys?

4. Give away the Santa hat.

I know it’s tempting to believe that you can be 35 places at the same time just like the white-bearded dude. Alas, you can’t. So give your Santa hat to Goodwill and try not to double book. Triple booking is absolutely prohibited.

5. Get some elves.

Santa sure does know how to delegate, with all those elves working for him. Imitate him! Find a young, poor, desperate person and ask him what he would accept (plastic … your coin collection … your kid’s old toys) as payment to do one of your jobs. Then seal the deal.

6. Say Ha Ha Ha!

Did you know that laughter can reduce stress in practically every human organ? Did you know that humor can boost our immune system and fight viruses? Protect yourself from getting the flu this holiday by saying ha, ha, ha as often as you hear ho, ho, ho.

Click here to read the other 15 holiday stress busters!