By Lorne Holden
The holidays. The people, the parties, the food, the gifts, the wonder of it all…..and the stress. If past holiday seasons have brought you more discomfort than ease, consider adopting some small changes in your attitudes and habits. Here’s a list of suggestions that can shift your stress to joy in no time!
1. Breathe – There is scientific evidence that ten deep belly breaths actually changes the body chemistry. We are calmer, happier people when we breath fully. If you feel a stressy moment approaching, consider this simple action to help.
2. Get Enough Sleep – It’s easy to forget that simply getting enough sleep is a starting block for having a great day. You may be going to parties galore, but don’t forget to get enough shut eye.
3. Eat Something Green Every Day – Making healthy food choices has a wonderful knock on effect. Eating a salad with broccoli at lunch will prompt your body to make wiser choices at dinner too, not to mention at all the evening parties. Include a green vegetable somewhere in your day – it may help with the urge to overeat cookies and sweets. At the very least, it will help balance your system.
4. Rest Your Mind – You don’t have to think of it as meditation. Just think of it as rest. Sit in a chair for ten minutes and imagine you have a blue sky with gorgeous clouds filling the top of your head. Keep your awareness on that beauty.
5. Count to Ten – Sometimes the things that Granny advised are still really the best advice. If you can feel an eruption of feelings coming on that might be unpleasant, take even a few seconds to breathe before you speak.
6. Make Time for Your Own Fun – The holidays often bring a host of social obligations that can be more necessary than joyful. Balance these times by building in experiences of what works for you. Declare a fun event for every day and dive into it.
7. Take a Ten Minute Walk – If you are driving to a party or event, plan on getting there a little early, and hop out of the car. Walk five minutes out and five minutes back. The fresh air will boost both your attitude and your energy level. You’ll be a welcome asset to the party or event because you’ll show up beaming.
8. Give – Nothing compares to the great feeling you get when you make a true offering to another. Find a charity, shelter or any organization that moves you and brighten their holiday season. You will be brighter off for it!
9. Be Grateful – Wake up every day and think of one thing you feel grateful for. There is always something. Gratitude has a positive viral effect on the system. Once you notice something to be grateful for, you will find other things too.
10. Be Kind – It really is true that what goes around, comes around. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind.
Wishing you the happiest holiday season ever!
– Lorne Holden is an award winning artist and author of the bestselling book “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done,” which is available at makeithappenintenminutesaday.com and by request at any local bookstore.