Holiday Cool: Managing Stress

With the holiday cheer and bustle often come visits from relatives and money stress and, well … a lot of reasons to bang your head against the wall.

Don’t let that be you. Instead, try:

Deep breathing. “Take a deep breath” is more than idle advice—it works. You can use several different techniques, but one simple one is breathing in through the nose for four seconds and then breathing out slowly, as if you’re blowing out a candle, for another four seconds. Try closing your eyes and doing this simple exercise five or six times. You’ll find yourself relaxing almost immediately. The best thing is, you can do this anywhere, anytime, for some instant stress relief.

Laugh. Laughter may not be the very best medicine, but it’s close. Amidst all the noise and shopping and errand-running, take some time to watch some favorite Christmas comedies (The Santa Claus, Elf and Home Alone top many lists) and just let yourself bust. Find a favorite comedian on YouTube. Read a book of “Dilbert” cartoons. But take time to let humor heal your troubled mind.

Remember Priorities. Christmas isn’t about busily sweating the small stuff—it’s about peacefully celebrating the important stuff. The original Christmas was the humblest affair imaginable—two kids welcoming the greatest gift ever. Let that be your guiding light this holiday. Aren’t you feeling better already?