It's only October, but the long holiday season is just around the corner and the time to prepare yourself is now. This year, instead of giving in to the many temptations that begin with Halloween and go all the way to January, try something different and start the new year feeling the best you've ever felt rather than regretful for letting it all go in the name of "celebration." 

Our culture has equated the upcoming season with over-indulgence of food, alcohol, mass consumption, over-spending and stress. You don't have to get caught up in it year after year if you take control now....

1. Set boundaries with your social calendar. 

Rather than saying yes automatically to every holiday party, choose one or two that will really mean something to you and then set a time limit for your stay. This includes business functions as well. 

2. Never go to a party hungry. 

Always, always eat something healthy and nourishing before attending a party. If you arrive starving, your willpower will be down and you'll end up stuffing your face with cheese-filled-somethings or handfuls of salty, sugary such-and-such. 

3. Schedule your workouts and yoga now for the next three months. 

Better yet, sign up for a new class or workshop, so that you're committed to staying as active as possible when the season of gluttony sets in.

4. Create your own rituals and traditions either by yourself or with your family. 

Who said you have to have turkey and all the heavy sides on Thanksgiving? Try tacos instead. Take a Halloween hike, host a skating party, or build a campfire on New Year's Eve. Break traditions that weigh you down emotionally or physically and keep you stuck in unhealthy patterns.

5. Start a gratitude journal today. 

You can share with those close to you on Thanksgiving. It's easy to forget that Thanksgiving is about gratitude, which can be practiced every day of the year.

6. Stay extra hydrated. 

The cold weather may lessen our water intake but we need just as much if not more now. Alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, and indoor heating can all dehydrate our skin. So drink more water than you might think you need. Try warm lemon water or herbal tea.

7. Enjoy the season. 

Cuddle up with a quilt, drink hot tea, curl up with a book, relax, bake apples, smell the leaves and later the pine, light candles, eat root vegetables, make soup, take warm salt baths, and practice introspection. After all, it is the season of rest!

Allow yourself to rest as nature does so well this time of year. 

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