I Thought I’d write a quick post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas this year, whatever you’re doing and wherever you are!

Just in case you’re feeling a little of that old holiday stress, here’s some last-minute advice on how to keep your day virtually stress-free.

Relax and don’t sweat the small stuff.  If you’re hosting, don’t worry no-one expects perfection, relax and go with the flow of the day, whatever that may be.  If you’re visiting, same advice, go with the flow, relax, enjoy what you can about the day and let go of anything negative that may happen.

Cut yourself and others a break.  Sure tempers may get a little frayed at some point, particularly if guests are staying for a few days.  Just accept that as a natural part of the holiday and move on. If you find yourself becoming irritated with someone, take a short break from them — maybe a couple of minutes outside, or in another room, just enough to put space between yourself and any negative feelings you may be experiencing.  Remember, others will likely be feeling some stress too, so try not to take anything they say or do personally.

Try not to overeat, or drink too much.  I know it’s tempting but it’s worth exercising a little self-control.  You’ll be glad you did!

Don’t lose your routine.  I know you’re going to have to adjust your life for a day or two, but try to do at least one thing each day, including Christmas Day, that is part of your regular routine.  Exercise is the best example of this, there’s nothing wrong with stealing an hour to go to the gym or go for a run. It will help you slough away stress, and make you feel better when it comes time for dessert.

Take a few minutes for yourself every day, including Christmas Day.  You might want to be by yourself and meditate, read a chapter of a book or a magazine, or even just get out in the fresh air for a couple of minutes.  Whatever you choose to do with your time is fine, just make sure you take it. You will need this time to ensure that tempers don’t fray and your stress levels remain low.

Have fun and enjoy the holidays!