On the heals of last week’s post on re-evaluating holiday traditions, I encourage you to stop and think before shifting into your holiday auto-pilot. The economy this year guarantees that we all enter the season more stressed than ever, and this alone demands a change in outlook… if we want to keep our sanity, that is. 
      To be avoided if possible: perfect gifts, kitchen slavery, pretending you’re happy when you’re not. There are those who love love love the holidays, and I love love love going to their perfectly decorated homes for cheer, but more common than you know is viewing the coming month with dread. Talk about pressure. Let’s see, there’s turkey with the in-laws, fighting for a parking space at the mall, travel plans to family, gift decisions, holiday drinking followed by morning regrets, money to pay for it all, time to do it all, and the big one, sadness over those you’ve lost the previous year. The list is long of potential stressors, and different for everyone, but reality is clear: Nov. and Dec. can make you crazy. 
      Trying to conform to what’s expected can work against your health and is vastly over-rated. Trying to relax and enjoy lets sleep, your best ally, work it’s magic.  And don’t forget to breathe…. or put a bird on your head. (my son and Vino Verde)