ADVENT CALENDAR: Day 22 / Top 5 Tips for Relaxed Holidays

  1. If at any point you find your mind wandering to work or anything stressful, give yourself “a safe word” and use it immediately. Your safe word could be “pumpkin pie” or “rock, paper, scissors” or perhaps something a tad simpler like “CHRISTMAS!”. Whatever works for you, choose it, use it and allow yourself to return to the current moment, the people you have around you and the special time you’re sharing with them.
  2. Christmas, nor life, is about perfection. Maybe this year you don’t drive yourself crazy with the cleaning, the cooking, the shopping, the prepping, the decorating, the gift giving, the card writing. Maybe this year you let yourself give you and everyone around you the best gift of all: your time.
  3. Engage in some of the favorite activities your friends and family enjoy. Activities are great because they force us to stay in the moment. The more active the activity, the better because it gives little to no room for your brain to go on overdrive. It’s all about distraction for your mind, especially if you’re Type A!
  4. Spend some time reflecting. Look back at your year and everything you’ve accomplished, experienced and gone through. Write down three things that you’re grateful that happened to you this year. What you pay attention to is what’s amplified in your life. For instance, let’s say you’ve just discovered a new and amazing holiday location, are totally in love with it and suddenly start seeing it everywhere? Or maybe you bought a new car and now everyone seems to be driving it? That’s what happens to our minds when we focus on something: we see it everywhere. So focus on the positive and everything you’re grateful for and you’ll soon notice many more reasons for it.
  5. And last but definitely not least, BREATHE. That’s right, breathe. When you stress out, your body starts to reflect that and it goes on fight or flight mode. When you stop to take a moment to breathe, your body starts to relax and let go of the stress. It starts to understand that hey you’re not under attack, so it can lower its guard. While we all know how to breathe, most of us have never stopped to fully pay attention to it. So try it with me right now: close your eyes, take a deep breath in through the nose (take as much air in as you possibly can), hold for a count of two and then blow out all the air through the mouth. Repeat this process as many times as necessary. Your body will thank you and later so will you ;)

Happy December 22nd!

With love,

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