What's the Deal: Holiday survival hacks

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming. If the holiday countdown has got you down, we got tips to staying on track and actually enjoying the magic of the season.

"What I like my patients to do is to think of the word 'safely' - Sleep, Alcohol, Food, Exercise, Laughing and You," said Dr. Vicki Bralow from Bralow Medical Group.

And while it may seem basic, let's start with sleep.

"Changing your sleep habits throws off your whole body," said Dr. Bralow.

As you head into the holiday crunch, it's all about sticking to your schedule and that includes making time for exercise.

"And its just something that for the rest of the day, stays with you and makes you feel better as you are running around and doing a million things for the holidays," said Dr. Bralow.

Let's talk about the holiday food - there's a lot of yummy temptation.

"If you are going to a party, the worst thing you can do is get away from your eating routine and say 'I am not going to eat all day because I have a party tonight' and eat all of these calories," said Dr. Bralow.

Dr. Bralow says the trick to to eat before you go!

"People look at me like I have two heads when I say that - but if you arrive at a party and you are hungry, you are not going to make good decisions," she said.

And of course, there are those holiday cocktails. She says this time of year, you have to be extra careful because those drinks add up.

"Whenever you have an alcoholic drink, follow it with a glass of seltzer, maybe with a twist of lime because you want to stay hydrated," she suggests.

While you're shopping, wrapping and cooking - don't be afraid to ask for help.

"People are afraid to ask for help because they feel other people are busy - they can't help you - you would be very surprised," said Dr. Bralow.

And to make sure you enjoy all of your hard work, make sure to schedule some time for yourself, even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes.

"Every minute of your day seems like it's scheduled for everyone else," said Dr. Braslow.

She also has some extra tips. To avoid holiday germs, take extra Vitamin C and a B complex. Also, avoid contentious topics to keep the mood light - especially at family gatherings and for kids, pick your battles.

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