The month of December, like any other time of year, can come with a different vibe for each of us.
- a time to be grateful and enjoy the company of friends and family
- a celebration season full of parties, laughter, and shopping for presents
- a period of anticipation, looking hopefully forward to a fresh year and new perspective
- a solemn time of spiritual reflection, meditation, and reconnecting with heritage
- a year-end nightmare of looming deadlines, pressure, and obligations
- a marathon against store crowds, with overspending and exhaustion at the finish line

Oops. Those last two just crept in, didn't they?

Even if all the busy-ness spins your head, you do have a say in how the holidays treat you. It just takes a bit of strategizing. Here are a few easy-to-follow secrets to ensuring you'll have energy and wellbeing to enjoy the holiday season--and beyond.

Secret 1: Get Real.
Yes, you're shopping for presents for your friends and family, but is that list too extensive? Have you accepted invitations to so many holiday parties that there is no time left for you relax and enjoy what the season really means: giving, receiving, and spending time with people who are important in your life?

It's time to take stock of your wants and needs--and maybe scale down so you won't be burned out by December 31st. Make a plan. Balance every responsibility you must fulfill with an activity that nurtures you and adds to your personal happiness. And be sure to include yourself on your present-buying list!

Secret 2: Fuel Up.
An approaching deadline at work, a day of shopping, a special event with friends--no matter what the activity, be sure to pump yourself up beforehand with a balance of protein and fiber (think vegetables or healthful carbs). Eat before you leave home and bring sensible snacks, like nuts or fruit, and water. That will keep you from the starved feeling that might otherwise send you running to the food court or the dessert table. Avoid loading up on the salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats that deplete energy and pack on pounds before January 1st.

Secret 3: Find Calm after the Storm.
After the crowds, fluorescent lights, scents, noise, lines, and chaos of holiday events, head for some quiet time to rebalance and transition into a calmer state of being. Gentle exercise, getting fresh air, being in the natural sunlight, or finding a quiet activity will recharge your batteries, soothe your frazzled nerves, and keep you grounded.

Secret 4: Know Which Supplements Help Energize You.
If ever there is a time to be consistent with multivitamins, including B6, B12, D, and C, this is it. Not only can these nutrients help arm you against colds and flus that are running rampant at this time of year, but they also provide or sustain the extra energy you'll need to tackle your to-do list effectively and successfully.

Secret 5: Rest Means More Energy to Spare.
If you're tired even before head out, you're in trouble. Not only will you drag through your to-do list, but you're also likely to be more irritable, less patient, and more prone to making decisions that don't work out well. Choose a better-rested day to accomplish shopping and events--or better yet, aim for seven hours of sleep every night, no matter what's on the agenda.

Before another harried, stressful day goes by, assess how you're feeling. Take the time to make adjustments now. You can still capture the energy you need to close out your year with so many desirable gifts: enjoyment, strength, balance--and leave the holiday fatigue and dissatisfaction behind. Send off 2011 with a strong finish, and have energy to spare for a successful 2012.

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta's goal is not only to relieve patients' illness and discomfort, but to help them set realistic goals for physical and mental preventative care and overall wellness. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers.