Breathe in the Holidays with New Dreams and a New You

Improving yourself and your holidays with these simple steps

The Holidays are a time that often herald mixed emotions. While some people look forward to the cheer and fanfare of familial celebrations, others suffer from bouts of stress and anxiety. It's inevitable that we're not always going to get along with our loved ones, but the holidays mark a prime opportunity to reinvent yourself and imbue your life and surroundings with positive energy. This year, leave the stress at the door and plan a holiday that may echo warm memories forever.

Decorate

Nothing invites the glow of holiday magic into one's home like the artful array of decorations. During the winter season, Christmas lights can be found glowing softly in the night air like fireflies. What's wonderful about a string of lights is that you can use them for other holidays and events as well.

Whether it's Halloween or Valentine's Day, small icicle lights can create an atmosphere that is calming, festive and joyful to onlookers. They also make for great mood lighting when you want to relax.

Remember that even a small living space can be decorated. A short or skinny Christmas tree can save space as well as money. Get creative and consider the benefit of home crafted decorations or ornaments. Don't forget to check your local thrift shop for great deals on decor and craft supplies that can be used to deck out your home inexpensively.

Make Gifts

A lot of people feel obligated to splurge on expensive gifts, buying merchandise that can cause debt and a frustrating sense of foreboding when one can't afford all the presents they want. The holidays shouldn't be about impressing others with money. Instead, why not try your hand at homemade crafts and create gifts that carry meaning beyond monetary value.

You can also cook and bake treats for friends and family, as well as repurpose novel finds. For instance, a coat of paint can transform an old shelf from a flea market into a gift that's unique and useful.

Consider taking up a hobby like knitting or crocheting, which is great for creating scarves, hats gloves and even toys. Handcrafted jewelry is another option, and you can also mold just about anything from polymer clay.

Ultimately, it's up to you to push the boundaries of your creativity to come up with gift ideas that are as fun and rewarding to make as they are to give.

Healthy Living

Many lament the wake of the holiday season because they inevitably gain weight. Getting fit is often a number one New Year's resolutions, but it can be difficult staying motivated.

The holidays bombard us with so much delicious food and treats that it can be easy to overindulge and regret it later. For your next holiday festivities, consider the benefit of cooking healthier alternatives to traditional meals and snacks. For instance, Christmas cookies can become a more health conscious treat when you use whole wheat flour and dark chocolate.

Try committing to a regular exercise routine before the holidays begin. This way, when the New Year swings around you'll be ahead of the game and you won't have any guilt about feasting with the rest of your family.

Keeping active is vital to not only our physical health and longevity, but our mental and emotional needs as well. The holidays can be a depressing time for many people, especially those without loved ones they can spend time with. Regular exercise can help tackle mood disorders and anxiety, which is especially important for those prone to seasonal depression. If you're feeling overwhelmed when preparing for a party or family event, simply taking a walk in crisp air can help you free your mind and find balance again.

Don't let the holidays pass you by in a blur. Take advantage of the cheerful seasons and explore your opportunities. If you're not prone to celebrating a holiday or you've been doing the same things for years, try finding a way to make it new and exciting. Don't be afraid to get active in your community. Find local holiday events and participate. We only have one life, so let's find as much magic as we can.

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