12/16/2013 12:35 EST | Updated 02/15/2014 05:59 EST

10 Tips to Survive the Holidays

Are you dreading the holidays? Do you always end up more tired and stressed after? Do you need a holiday from your holiday? Here are 10 tips to survive the holidays.

Are you dreading the holidays? Do you always end up more tired and stressed after? Do you need a holiday from your holiday?

Here are Ten Tips to Survive The Holidays

1. Drink Lots of Water

Drinking water may seem like an odd one in the winter. The holidays are riddled with yummy treats and alcohol. Many times, we forget that caffeine, sugar and alcohol can all dehydrate us. This dehydration can lead to fatigue and excess cravings. Drinking more water can actually help to decrease those cravings and keep us hydrated.

2. Get fresh air

Over the holidays, we often spend more time indoors to avoid the cold! Excess time indoors can actually exhaust us and increase depression. Fresh air is a natural mood lifter. It helps to get outside to clear the mind and to increase the release of serotonin to elevate the mood.

3. Eat more Vegetables

Holiday meals are traditionally full of richer foods and calorie dense. We often forget the vegetables until we turn the calendar and make those New Years resolutions. Why wait the extra few days? Most people feel better when they eat fresh vegetables. It is an excellent source of fibre and is an excellent way to fill the stomach, curbing our hunger before the richer, heavier meals.

4. Laughter

During the holidays, there are fun new movies and live shows at the local theatres. Taking the time to go out and see a movie can lift our mood and help us to survive the stress of the holidays with ease.

5. Avoid the malls

We all know that the malls get incredibly busy once the calendar turns to December 1. It is something we have known for many days and months prior. Avoid the procrastination, and get your shopping down today. The sooner you can get it done, the less stress you have to deal with closer to the big day.

6. Exercise

It is common to have one Christmas party followed by another and then another. Before you know it, you may have a whole 10 days of parties back to back. Take time for you. Get to the gym, show up on your yoga mat or simply go for a walk. Regular exercise during the holidays is a must for those of us who are busy. It allows us to stay sane and happy!

7. Journal

This is one that we often don't see on the lists of holiday stress busters. Seeing family can stir up a lot of emotions and stresses that build up quickly. For many of us, we bite our lip, put the lid on our emotions and before we know it, are exhausted. A regular journal about how we feel can provide a sounding board for how we feel. Simply expressing it on paper can release a lot of the pent up emotions.

8. Sleep

One thing that is often the first to go is our sleep schedule. We stay up late to catch up with old friends or cook into the wee hours of the night in preparation for the family gatherings. This automatically leads to less sleep which can be a recipe for disaster. Make sleep a priority and let everything else fall where it may. Without your adequate sleep, you have less energy for others and it may lead to a cranky holiday!

9. Give Back

The holidays are commonly thought of as a time of giving. It is a time for family, friends and community. Why not give to your community? Take some time to volunteer at the local soup kitchen or give some money to Salvation Army. All of these little steps are part of the bigger cycle of giving and receiving.

10. Random Acts of Kindness

Next time you are in your local coffee shop, buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you. These random acts of kindness create a powerful wave of positivism that has a dramatic effect on everyone.