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How is everyone doing? Are you starting to feel the holiday rush? This time of year can get so hectic, even though our intentions are good. It is easy to get pulled into wanting to make everything perfect. I hope you can make some space for downtime, fun and connecting with friends and family.

Funny story, but I have had some serious cell phone issues this year! I think I will be on my third phone this year! Okay, it really isn’t funny, BUT it sure teaches me – 1) How much I rely on those darn things and 2) How great it can be without one!!! It sort of forced me to unplug this last weekend more than usual. It was SO nice! It got me thinking of some tips for how to manage stress this time of year…

So here are my 5 Tips to Stress Less this Holiday Season:
1) Unplug! Set a time of day you plan to unplug and turn off the device OR put it in airplane mode. If you catch yourself grabbing it to check something, you have to walk through more steps to turn it on or off of airplane mode, which will hopefully make you think twice about how important it really is or if it can wait until the next day.

2) Practice the Art of Saying No.  You cannot possibly do it all! Don’t even try. It really and truly is okay to say no. There are so many gatherings and events this time of year. Prioritize them. Will the event drain you or fill you up? If it will drain you and you are not really looking forward to it, say no. You don’t have to lie, simply say you are sorry – but you won’t be able to make it. Thank them for the invite. That’s it!

3) Breathe. If you find yourself in a state of frenzy – remember to stop and breathe. Really breathe, not from the upper chest, but big deep breaths from your belly. I like to repeat something or count… it can be a prayer, mantra or simple counts with each breath. “This too shall pass.” OR count like this – Breathe in and count to yourself for 4 long counts and out for 4-6 counts. Repeat.

4) Shorten your list. What can you remove from your list? Can you delegate it or remove it completely? I notice the closer I think I am to getting things checked off, somehow more things find there way on to my list and it continues to grow. Let’s stop the list madness! Take a look at your list and prioritize items and move them to after the holidays if you can, delegate to someone else if possible, or decide it isn’t that important (how long has it been on that list?) and remove it completely.

5) Schedule Time for You. During my ‘unplugged’ time yesterday, after the kids went down I sat on the couch and watched Fixer Upper, who doesn’t love Chip and Joanna Gaines?!? Okay, I was folding laundry – so maybe don’t do that ;). It was Heaven, drinking tea and having some quiet me time!

I hope this helps! Take care of you!

Love, Sarah

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