It’s that wonderful time of year. The holidays are here, and hearts are full of love and hands are abounding in generosity. Unfortunately, when the big day arrives, some minds are only filled with the anxious bustle. The burden of unfinished tasks looms over their heads like an Eeyore cloud all day. But don’t let it get you down because there are many ways to enjoy the holiday season even more. Help keep the stress in a time-out with these four small tricks.

Write It All Down

Begin planning way before the big day, at least a few weeks beforehand. Write down the first things that come to your head immediately, without bothering to remember the hard stuff. Over the course of the next few weeks, your mind will naturally churn things on the back burner. And occasionally, something will pop in your mind.

So, grab that sheet again and write down your idea before it disappears. Next, put everything in the proper order, like shopping, then wrapping and then baking, for example. And most importantly, delegate some of your to-dos to family members, including your children, as they can be a big help.

Take a Breather

This is probably one of the hardest ones. With so much to do, the last thing you probably want to do is nothing. However, it is crucial for keeping a clear head and a good temperament. Even if it can only be five minutes out in the sunlight, a change of scenery can calm your nerves and help reset your emotions.

Just five minutes socializing about things unrelated to the festivities will help keep your mind balanced. You may have lost five minutes, but you’ll feel so much better, you’ll make up for those five minutes plus some.

Seek Out Healthy Foods

Food provides you with physical and mental energy, but it also plays an important role in balancing your hormones. And what you eat can contribute significantly to your moods, which will significantly affect your performance. So, if you know that sitting down for a meal will be impossible, make sure you prepare handy snacks beforehand to keep you fueled for the busy days ahead.

Go for nuts, fruit, veggies, crackers, cheese, hard-boiled eggs and smoothies. And in a pinch, chocolate never hurt anyone. Remember, when a person is hungry, they get cranky.

Meditate at the End of Your Day

One of the most convenient times to meditate is at bedtime when your day is done. You should be able to find some uninterrupted time, and you may even fall asleep if you like. In fact, meditation can help you fall asleep. Here’s how:

  • Lie down with your eyes closed and focus on a specific area of blackness in the void you see. If you are really seeing the black, there should be no room left for other thought. Sounds have a way of invading the mind, though, so take care to limit outside noises.
  • Take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. Take a deeper breath in, and a deeper breath out. Take the deepest breath you possibly can, filling up your lungs to bursting point, and push all the air out, deflating your chest until there is nothing left to squeeze out.
  • Then recover with one more filling breath and let it out. Take five more mildly deep breaths, still focusing on the black space. If your mind begins to wander and it becomes incredibly difficult to stay focused, let it. It is falling asleep, and that is a good thing.

Try one or try all of these tips to help you recharge before, during, and even after, the holidays. You’ll feel more balanced, energized and able to enjoy the holiday season even more.