Overspending, Overwhelmed, Overloaded and Over Stressed?

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Health and wellness expert Renee Wiggins, author of Stress Down and Lift Up, says you can beat the 4-o's during the holiday by following 12 simple techniques.

Enlist the help of others to help plan and prepare the holiday feast and cook foods that require little preparation and cooking time. This will help ensure that you're able to enjoy entertaining your family and friends.

Renee Wiggins suggests that people can reduce the stress and strain on one's body and wallet during the holiday season by following these 12 simple techniques.

1. On the first day of Christmas, buy a candle that will prepare your senses for relaxation. Stare into the candle and say "peace be still" over and over again for at least one minute.

2. On the second day of Christmas, enjoy an aromatherapy bath with candles and soft music. (This can be especially soothing after a long hard day of shopping.)

3. On the third day of Christmas, set a budget and stick to it. Limit one gift per person. Consider giving gifts only to the children in your family since most adults have everything they want.

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, send an encouraging word to a co-worker, friend or family member who may be lonely or overwhelmed during this busy season. Positive words give a person an uplift in their day.

5. On the fifth day of Christmas write a letter of appreciation to yourself.

6. On the sixth day of Christmas soak your tired feet. Place stones in a foot basin with salt or sugar minerals and rub your feet over the stones. The stones will act as pressure points under your feet stimulating the blood and allowing them to relax (You may really need this after standing in long store lines!)

7. On the seventh day of Christmas, journal your stress away. Writing soothes the soul and releases the anxiety.

8. On the eighth day of Christmas, listen to a relaxation tape in your car while waiting for a parking space.

9. On the ninth day of Christmas, record a motivational tape and give it to a friend. Helping others will bring joy to you.

10. On the tenth day of Christmas, treat yourself to a facial.

11. On the eleventh day of Christmas, treat your self to a protein shake: 1/2 a banana, sliced 1/2c canned crushed pineapple and 1 cup of buttermilk. Blend until smooth. Calories 200 Fat 2 grams.

12. On the twelfth day of Christmas, join in the dance. Dancing enlightens the spirit, brings joy to soul, and releases stress. Take plenty of pictures and share them among the family for a few good laughs and smiles.

And Renee has provided a few bonus tips for you to keep and share with others...

  • "Buying gift cards that your special loves will enjoy can save time and money."
  • Open a savings account for your Christmas gifts and put away $5 to $50 each pay period. You will be amazed how much money you can save for the holiday spending.
  • Take mini breaks throughout the day, to avoid being overwhelmed.
  • While standing in line, listen to music or read a book.
  • "Don't try to do all your shopping in one day." Plan ahead and visit 3 stores at a time to help reduce the frustration.
  • Keep a positive mood throughout the season. Develop better ways to cope with stress and frustration by taking a few minutes everyday to unwind.
  • To reduce stress and tension from cooking, Health and Wellness expert Renee says, "Enlist the help of others to help plan and prepare the holiday feast and cook foods that require little preparation and cooking time. This will help ensure that you're able to enjoy entertaining your family and friends."

"And finally, if you overcooked or burn a dish, don't worry, you don't have to be perfect at any of this!"

Renee Wiggins, a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Certified Massage Therapist, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and author of Stress Down and Lift UP, and available on her website (http://www.resultsbyrenee.com)

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