It’s the most wonderful time of the year – yes, but for many it can also be the most stressful time of the year as well. With this in mind, here are a few simple tips for stress-proofing your holiday season. Be generous…to yourself – The holidays are a time of giving and gratitude, but don’t forget about yourself and your health. Stress has been proven to be bad for your heart, heart rate, blood pressure and can make certain chronic diseases, like arthritis and diabetes, even worse. So don’t let shopping be your only exercise this holiday season. Schedule some time for yourself once a week at the gym. Splurge on a yoga class or two, or just allow yourself time for a quiet walk or jog around the block. After all, the best gift you can give your family is a happier, healthier you! Plan for success…not perfection – We’ve all heard about “the best laid plans of mice and men,” but nowhere in that famous poem is perfection mentioned. This holiday season, yes, plan ahead and avoid stressful surprises that can pop up and ruin your events. But, at the same time, expect some surprises, and give yourself permission to let some things slide. Give…and receive – A great way to cut down on stress is to share the load. Volunteering to help others will help you keep your mind off your responsibilities and remind you of how good it feels to give. But remember, this works both ways. Allow others that same opportunity. Let them help you when you need it. You just might find that these “opportunities” create the best, most enduring holiday memories.