By Kara Pachniuk, MS, CNS Nourish and Nosh These are three simple tips to keep in mind during this magical time of year. The holiday season can be stressful, so don’t forget to take care of yourself. Plan Ahead. One of the best ways to stay focused during the holiday season is to plan ahead. Not having a plan will take its toll, and come January, we end up feeling bloated and lethargic. I’m not suggesting that you have every week perfectly planned, but even planning 80% of the time will help you stay focused. For example, if you’re spending the day holiday shopping, pack a full water bottle and some snacks to nosh on while shopping. This will prevent you from stopping at a kiosk that sells carb heavy snacks that leave you exhausted. Packing water helps with hydration during dry months and can also affect energy levels. Being prepared and having a plan allows you to feel your best during stressful times. Set Boundaries. Anyone who knows me knows one of my favorite holiday tips is to limit yourself to treats “made with love”. Meaning, if it’s your Aunt Betsy’s famous chocolate bark, that she makes once a year, have a piece. But if it’s mass-produced cookies at the hairdresser, skip it. Set those boundaries with yourself so that you allow yourself a little treat here and there, but not everywhere. You’re not depriving yourself; you’re just being selective of what you choose to eat. Smart drinking. The best options are tequila, champagne, vodka seltzer. Keep your mixers simple, and drink a glass of water between drinks to help with hydration. Another tip is to not drink on an empty stomach. If you’re at a party, hit up the cocktail shrimp before the bar.