1. Caffeine – Holiday parties, in-laws, lines at the mall, holiday traffic… the holiday season is full of situations that sap our energy. Caffeine can help you stay motivated and energized to get through it with confidence.
2. Water – It’s tough to remember to drink water when it’s cold outside, but dehydration slows down metabolism and causes fatigue. Staying hydrated is just as important in the winter as it is during the summer.
3. Lists – Lists aren’t just for Santa. Everything feels more manageable when it’s written down: grocery lists, to-do lists, lists of gifts received, gifts to buy, gifts to ask for, etc. Keep these the same place you keep your agenda/calendar for easy access and editing.
4. Sense of Humor – The holidays are stressful for a number of reasons, and people will get on your nerves. Keeping a sense of humor will help you keep your sanity.
5. Adaptability – Even the best plans come undone during the holiday season. Expecting the unexpected and embracing sudden changes in plans can help minimize overall stress.
6. Stress Ball – Foam and sand-filled stress balls are great to keep handy during the holidays. Give them a tight squeeze, then try to relax your mind and whole body as you release.
7. Gum – Ever heard of the “nervous munchies”? When people get stressed, they tend to snack. Chewing gum can help reduce the stress and the extra calories.
8. Exercise – It’s important to make time for yourself, even when the errands seem endless. Exercise can improve mood, reduce stress and help you fall asleep easier at night.
9. Bouncy-ball or Large Marble – At the end of a long day on your feet, rolling your feet on a small ball can help break up the knots.
10. Batteries or Chargers –Editing your calendar and lists, calling relatives and texting Santa will tax your smartphone battery. Keep a spare charger or spare batteries handy.
11. Layers – As the weather gets colder, it’s important to have extra layers of clothes available. Layers give you the flexibility to adjust your wardrobe throughout the day to match the situation.
12. Good Music – Whether you adore holiday music or get sick of hearing the same song over and over, finding the right playlist can make a stressful busy day more manageable.
13. Lotion and Lip Balm – Lotion and lip balm help you stay moisturized through the cold weather season.
14. Hand Wipes or Sanitizer – Busy malls, holiday traveling and crowded grocery stores can all be breeding places for germs.
15. Charity and Gratitude – Taking time to give back and give thanks is a great way to improve the world around you. There are also studies that link gratitude with a sense of well-being.