Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 2819 Fall 2016 | HTCinc.net Not feeling up to that “ugly sweater” party? Don’t go! Didn’t have time to bake cookies for the office? Your colleagues will survive. The front-porch lights aren’t as magical as last year? You’re saving on energy, anyway! Not going to a party doesn’t make you a Scrooge, it makes you human. Saying yes when you want to say no can lead to feeling overwhelmed or resentful. So do yourself a favor and buy pre-made biscuits for the party. Nobody will know. Embrace healthy habits. Abandoning a wellness-centered lifestyle isn’t advisable at any point of the year, but healthy living certainly should not be sacrificed around the holidays. Not only will it help you maintain your figure, but also your sanity! 1. Study after study supports that exercise is a vital component to stress management. Don’t think of it as one more thing to put on the list — approach it as a part of your day that everything else is scheduled around. 2. Feeling guilty about overindulgence only adds to your stress levels, so strike a balance. For example, try nibbling on a healthy snack before parties so that it’s easier to resist that third slice of Aunt Betty’s cheesecake. 3. Getting enough sleep is crucial to diffusing stress and maintaining the holiday spirit — nobody likes a Grinch ’round the dinner table! Squeeze in some “you” time. Having friends and family around is a rare and wonderful treat — a true gift of the season. But making time for yourself can help when it all gets to be a little overwhelming. Between the planning, prepping, baking, shopping and catching up, don’t be afraid to take a breather. Allowing yourself 15 minutes to sneak away for a catnap, a walk or a hot bath can help calm your nerves and clear your head. Then, you can return to your tasks or your guests with the enthusiasm the season deserves. Stick to a budget. Much of the stress that surrounds the holidays can be tied back to the financial strain that accompanies them. One way to ease this pain point is to create a budget early on and then — more importantly — to stick to that budget. Presents are an obvious budget-bursting culprit, but there are a few easy ways to tighten the belt in other areas. For example, with a little preparation you can cook and freeze meals ahead of time, which eliminates the I’m-too-tired-tonight-let’s-just-eat-out excuse. Or, consider planning a thoughtful homemade or home-baked gift instead of scouring the shops for something impressive. Ultimately, creating and sticking to a budget doesn’t limit you; it liberates you from the weight of financial anxiety. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect. Take a thing or two off of your plate (fruitcake, preferably). Cherish your favorite traditions and relinquish the rest. Cut yourself some slack. Prepare as early as possible. And, as corny as it sounds, think about what this season is truly about — and hold onto that with everything you have.