December 9th, 2014
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We developed this workout so you can make sure you get moving even when the holidays throw your schedule off. You can do it at home since no equipment is necessary! Burn the fat with this workout! Let us know what you think!
Like the song says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But, it can also be the most stressful time of year! Here you are, trying to purchase the perfect holiday gifts for your family, get the house decorated, manage the busy holiday party schedule, do a little entertaining of your own, and keep the kids from getting overstimulated. The pressure can be too much. You don’t want to end up on Christmas Eve too worn out to enjoy this magical time with your family and friends. So try these top five holiday stress reducers so you can truly enjoy the season.
1. Create a Plan.
Planning is just as important for the holiday season as it is for any other high-stakes event. Creating a plan and outlining your action steps to execute it will make sure that your holiday season comes off just right. It’s best to craft your plan as early as possible. For example, make your holiday gift list right now, start looking for sales and stick to your budget. Online shopping can often be less stressful (no crowds!) and the sales can be just as good as in-store sales—often better. (And make sure you’re getting the most out of your purchses this year: for instance, if you use the Amex EveryDay Credit Card for your holiday purchases, you can earn 20% more points when you use the Card 20 times or more in a single billing period.) Also, pace yourself with gift wrapping. Plan to wrap gifts once a week so you don’t have them all left to wrap at the last minute. For holiday cooking, write out the menu and list every ingredient you’ll need so you don’t forget anything while grocery shopping. Bake holiday treats or other dishes ahead of time, and freeze them when possible. Dig out the serving dishes you may use only during this season, and make sure you have serving utensils for every dish.
2. It’s OK to Break Tradition.
Be it the holiday party you attend every year but don’t enjoy or a family tradition you don’t feel like continuing, it’s okay to say no. That gives you a chance to change things up or even start a new tradition. Give yourself permission to simplify your holidays to make the season more enjoyable.
3. Enlist the Help of Others
Let the children help with cleaning and join in the fun of decorating. Make a chart with each task that needs get done, and let your children pick some. Be generous with praise and encouragement. In my house, we love to play holiday music to get everyone in the mood!
4. Work Out.
Working out is known to produce endorphins, brain chemicals that make us feel happy and relaxed. Jumping rope, doing pushups and/or a Tabata or two (a type of interval training) for at least 10 minutes a day will not only keep you feeling less stressed but also keep you from packing on the winter weight.
If you don’t have membership to a gym or don’t have enough time to work out…don’t worry! There are plenty of at-home exercises that you can do throughout the day wherever you are. Visit my Workout Plans Board on Pinterest to get some ideas.
5. Give Yourself Me Time Each Day.
Even if you have been on the run all day and want nothing more than to crash as soon as you get home, resist the urge. Make sure that you take at least 10 to 15 minutes to sit down and relax. Read a book or a magazine to help take your mind off the day. Even better, take a relaxing bath or practice meditation. Both are great ways to unwind after a rough day. You need to allow time for yourself to avoid feeling overwhelmed. It’s super important. Don’t forget: you can use the points you earned doing holiday shopping to buy yourself a spa treatment to help de-stress.
What are you doing to stay stress-free this holiday season?
I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. As such, I was paid for my services but tips and opinions shared about American Express and the Amex EveryDay Credit Card are my own.
Dining is close to a religious experience for me, so all of my mind, body and spirit get channeled into my holiday dishes. One of my favorite ways to enjoy these festive dishes is by relaxing is around the dinner table, chatting with family and friends. It’s super fun to use Membership Rewards® points to help bring the holiday spirit into my own home. I’m able to use points to fuel my combined passion of cooking and trying new kitchen items.
While I do love using my points to buy gift cards for my own shopping, I also enjoy giving them to family and friends. According to this year’s American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, gift cards are THE #1 gift to give, so consider buying all your gift cards with earned points. You can check out the great places to purchase gift cards with points here!
Here are 3 simple ways to use Membership Reward Points during the holidays:
- Gift Cards: Who doesn’t love receiving a gift card? As mentioned above, they are the #1 way to give. If you need a last-minute gift, eGift cards can be delivered straight to the recipient’s inbox. Some of my favorites gift cards to use for myself and also give are: Crate & Barrel, The Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Saks Fifth Avenue, Restoration Hardware, and Barnes and Noble. Check out all the available gift cards from leading retailers here (insert link)
- Use Points for Charges: This feature allows Card Members to log into the American Express app on their phones (or MembershipRewards.com) and use points on everyday purchases. When the window opens, select eligible charges for which you’d like to apply points; an accompanying credit will be applied within 48 hours.
- Shop with Points on Amazon: Amazon.com has long been one of my favorite places to shop for myself and for others over the holidays. No busy crowds at the store and super simple to use. I also love reading reviews before making my purchases. Did you know that you can set your American Express card as your default payment method and when you go to check out, you can pay in full or even partially with rewards points? Brilliant!
In addition, I will also be giving in another way. Membership Rewards allows you to donate points and give to hundreds of local, national and international non-profit organizations. Members Give is an American Express Card Member benefit that allows cardholders to donate earned points to the charity of their choice, starting at 1,000 points. For every 1,000 points redeemed through Members Give, $10 will be donated to a charity of my choice. I will be sure to donate many points.
I can’t forget to mention one more Membership Rewards perk that I’m super psyched about this time of year. To help you travel safely to and from those dinner and cocktail parties throughout the holidays…recently, Uber partnered with American Express to ensure safe travels during the holiday season by offering Card Members 2x points on eligible rides, and allowing Card Members to use points to pay for eligible trips (just make sure your Amex Credit Card is registered to your Uber account).
Please share with me how you have used #PointsForPresents in the past or plan to use them this holiday season!
Disclosure: I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers on how to use earned Membership Rewards points. As such, I was paid for my services, but all items selected and opinions about the Membership Rewards points are my own.
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