We are here.

The 12 days of Christmas, 8 crazy nights, chocolate season-whatever your fancy. How are you dealing?

Every year since I was 8 ( that was the year I learned the truth about S-A-N-T-A), the holidays have gotten a little less magical and a little more stressful. There are always more things to juggle, more things to buy. This is going to be my first married Christmas, and I’m feeling the stress of managing two families. However, it is one of my big goals this year to set a mental health PR through the winter, and I know that managing my stress level has a big impact on my endurance and mood through the season.

Here are a few simple things that are helping me through:

Protein packed breakfasts help me manage cravings, sustain energy until lunch, and say no to all of the extravagant holiday cookies that will spike my blood sugar and then leave me in a slump.

-Daily mindfulness activities help me keep perspective on what is important. Mindfulness means different things to different people. For me, it is a few minutes in the morning when I practice deep breathing and make a list of 10 things I’m grateful for. Here is some inspiration.

-The gym. It is cold, it is dark, and I can’t always make myself go run or ride outside. That’s ok. I’ve been hitting up yoga, cycle, fusion, and even a barre class to get my sweat on during these short and busy days.

-Challenges. I’ve challenged myself to maintain my weight through the holidays, entering a contest through my beloved gym. I’ve challenged myself to maintain 8 out of 10 healthy habits per day with the healthy holiday challenge. And I’ve challenged myself to work out at least 3 times per week through this busy time. I know I’m going to be inspired to ramp my fitness up full-tilt once the new year hits and focus on some new projects, so these challenges are helping me be true to myself through the stress of the season.

How do you manage the holidaze?