I'm not sure how much more you and I can take this year. The holiday season, although fun in many ways, is stressful enough. Add on the burden of a year like 2020 annnd that's a recipe for emotional exhaustion.

It's hard to fathom it is already October. What is weeks away will end up feeling like it all zipped by in a few days. Once the spiral of activity begins, you'll feel like you're whirling down through a pretty, jovial, but hectic spiral of holiday lights, meals you must prepare, and various socially-distant work parties, even on Zoom, and family get-togethers.

Inevitably, many of us find ourselves feeling completely off the rails and struggling just to keep the basic daily doings going. I feel you. We do our best, once in the fray, to schedule a massage, find a moment or two to just stop and take a breath, or whatever "relaxing" looks and feels like to you. This year presents extra challenges for obvious reasons.

This year, I propose we get an early start. Being in the middle of the hub-bub makes it uber-challenging to attempt to start a new daily ritual in an effort to keep the holiday burnout at bay. Here's a few ideas that will strengthen you before the happy chaos commences:

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Pick a time every morning and meditate or pray. The point here is to take a few moments--maybe five minutes or up to thirty, if you have the time. Meditate or spend time in the quiet and pondering what you're grateful for in these moments. As simple as it sounds, just this simple activity can change the entire tone of your day. Personally, I can't do it very first thing or I'll drift off again. But usually right after breakfast can be good.

Plan a simpler gift-giving holiday. I know, I know. Many of us talk about this every year, but really at the end of the day, the thing that makes the holidays special is spending time with people we love. The "things" we give each other don't necessarily have to be as grand.

My family and I have long since ceased the present explosion that we used to engage in when my sister and I were younger. Ya know what? I enjoy the day so much more now than I used to because it is so much less stressful. Talk with your family ahead of time to see if you can get everyone on the same page. Who knows? They may be relieved, too.

Give yourself the gift of a spa day--even at home. Hey, some of you may already indulge. However, for some people who spend so much time caring for everyone else around them, they struggle with "wasting" time on themselves. It is NOT a waste. When you feel good, it reverberates around you and helps others feel better, too.

Start going to bed a little bit earlier and get up at the same time everyday. OK, this is already a challenge, no matter the season. However, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of having good sleep habits. That is when our bodies heal and sort things out in our minds. It relieves stress. If you're not sleeping well consistently, it is affecting every hour of your day. The busy holiday season only amplifies it.

Ready for some more tips? Check out this helpful article from Biospace.com.

Here's a closer look at making your sleep hours more restful: