Tips for a stress-free holiday season

From suspending judgment to eating deliberately, The Energy Project CEO Tony Schwartz shares helpful ways to maximize your energy over the holidays:

  • Before you leave work on Wednesday, take a few minutes to compile a list of three or four activities you most enjoy. Schedule time to do at least one of them during your holiday time off.
  • Make your first activity on Thanksgiving morning some form of exercise -- a walk, a run, yoga.
  • Eat your Thanksgiving meal slowly and deliberately. Your body doesn't recognize it's full for 20 minutes. It helps to put your fork down or take a sip of water between bites. If you can manage to avoid overeating, you'll feel a lot better all weekend -- and a lot better about yourself.
  • Suspend your inclination to judge family members over this holiday. Consider what it's like to feel judged -- it just makes us defensive and irritated. Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to give thanks for the blessings in your life.
  • If you're determined to shop on Black Friday, decide in advance what you're going to spend for each person, and ideally what you intend to buy. Without a plan, you're more likely to give into impulse and bust your budget.
  • Be openly appreciative. Small expressions of kindness go a long way. Is there a barista who always makes your latte perfectly? Or a parking garage attendant who gets your car out quirky when you need it? Or a relative who could use a holiday lift?
  • Park your worries. If you struggle to fall asleep because you're ruminating over this holiday, put a pad of paper and a pen beside your bed and write down whatever you're worrying about. Do the same if you wake up in the middle of the night. This is a powerful way to calm, your mind, get a better night's sleep and behave better in those trying moments.