7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays With Your Sanity Intact

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of relaxed gatherings of family and friends. But, we all know that's in Leave it to Beaver land. Our reality is that we are totally stressed out, frazzled, sleep deprived, and in seemingly endless altercations over parking spots or who was next in the checkout line. Camaraderie comes in the form of being flipped the bird by our fellow motorists.

Are we having fun yet? I don't think so. Sometime I wish I had the ability to hibernate. I'd be good with sleeping through the holiday season and waking up as the New Year dawns and life returns to normal. I've come to dread the onslaught of holiday promos and fake cheer which now starts before Halloween. Things are even crazier this year with more and more retailers succumbing to the temptation to jump start sales by moving Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day. Can't we even enjoy our turkey in peace?

I could go on. Instead, I decided to be constructive and offer seven tips to help you keep your wits about you during this insane time of year. It always helps to have a strategy when you go into battle!

Holiday Sanity Preserving Tips
1. Emulate Nancy Reagan: "Just Say No." You don't have to go to every event.

2. Cheat: If you're the host don't make everything from scratch. Supplement with some healthy prepared or take-out food.

3. Squelch your Perfectionist Tendencies: The point is to have fun, not to put on the most perfect party in the history of the world.

4. Act like a Duck: We don't get to choose our family. If one of your relatives gets under your skin, just let the remark roll off your back and be polite.

5. Get Your Shut Eye: It will help you make better food choices and have the time and energy to exercise.

6. Keep Your Body Moving: Sneak in some exercise, even if it's just 10 minutes. Walk down the stairs, park a little further away from the store.

7. Strategize: Develop a plan before you go to a party so you won't overindulge. Try eating a healthy snack before you go, alternate glasses of water and wine, and survey all the offerings before you choose.

Enjoy the holidays. ;)