By Jennifer Grace

Getting through the holidays with ease and grace is no small feat.  With the endless invitations, family coming in from out of town, extra spending, and over indulgence it can be somewhat stressful to navigate successfully.  Here are 5 simple ways to decrease stress, so that you can enjoy this special time… that only comes around once a year.

1. Get Creative! Extra spending causes extra stress.  There is nothing more endearing than gifts that are thoughtful or homemade. Express to your family this year the idea of everyone getting on board with this.  Create fun and meaningful gifts like photo calendars or hand painted vases that mean so much more than store bought items.

2. Make “No” a Complete Sentence.  Many of us try to people please during the holidays and overextend ourselves with too many commitments. It’s ok to say no.  Pick and choose whom you really want to spend time with; the rest can wait until next year.

3. Stay In Your Routine. There is so much overindulgence during the holidays, don’t skip out on your morning run, and try to still get plenty of sleep.

4. Play Games. Make it fun! Bring games to a family gathering; this puts the attention on laughter and off of potential family “dramas”.

5. Practice Gratitude. Instead of focusing on what’s not “right” or “perfect”, instead stay grounded in gratitude in all that you do have.

The holidays should be full of joy and childlike wonder, let the little things roll off, focus on friends and family, and the things that mean the most.