The holidays, though full of cheer, love and celebration, can be a very stressful time for many. It's important to listen to your body -- always, but especially when you're pregnant -- and take time for yourself so that the stress doesn't catch up to you.

Here are some easy tips to help you survive the holidays when you're pregnant:

  1. Travel smartly. If you're planning to travel in any capacity, it's important to stay comfortable throughout the journey. When packing, be sure to include a variety of preferred snacks (especially healthy ones for pregnancy!) in case there are travel delays or you feel your blood sugar dropping. Also, be sure to dress comfortably to allow for extended period of sitting or standing. Compression socks (we love these ones from Vim & Vigr) may be a good snag during this time.
  2. Sit down! When attending holiday parties, be sure to find a few minutes every 30-45 minutes to sit down. It's important to rest your feet so that you prevent additional foot soreness you may already feel from the pregnancy itself. You'll be surprised at the relief you feel with just 60 seconds of resting your feet. If you can, rub some Mama Mio Lucky Legs cooling gel on your feet when you return to home base -- your feet will appreciate it!
  3. Eat before you party. When it comes to food at holiday parties, it's hard to always eat healthy. If you're able to, try to eat a mini-meal of approximately 200-250 calories beforehand so that you're not famished and gravitating to the heavy dips etc and instead noshing at a slower pace. Many times, overeating where the feeling of your eyes are bigger than your stomach can lead to gas, indigestion or discomfort. This will help minimize those sensations.
  4. Stay active! It's hard to prioritize a workout during the busy holiday season, however, even a 15-minute jolt around the block or light stretching on a yoga mat can help rejuvenate you during all the hustle bustle. Try to focus on short, efficient ways to incorporate physical activity into your day.
  5. Meditate. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed with all the family drama? Take a few minutes to yourself and try to meditate or clear your mind. There are a variety of meditation podcasts including a free version on Headspace to help you cool off and relax. It's important to continue the positive vibes during this time!

Here's wishing you a safe, healthy and happy holiday!

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Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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