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Do you love or hate the holidays? Do you get caught up in the hoopla or would you rather just crawl under a rock until January 1st? It is very hard in the States especially if you have kids to ignore it! So what do you do? How can you get through it with a sense of grace and without loosing your mind?! Here are a few tips that I use and offer you during this busy holiday season.

1. Mini-Vacation:

Close your eyes, take a few deep belly breaths and imagine yourself at your favorite and most relaxing place, whether real or imagined: perhaps an island (my personal favorite), deep in the forest, in a hammock on the beach, in nature, walking in the mountains, just to name a few. Make it as real and as detailed as you can, using all of your senses to make it feel even more vivid and alive. Luxuriate in a deep and growing sense of relaxation for a few minutes. Take a mental snapshot to remember it. Breath in a few more deep belly breaths and slowly return to the present.

2. Help Someone Else:

This could be as easy as paying the toll for the next car in line, to making a charitable donation (of money, food, clothing, or your time) to your favorite cause, to giving your already paid parking meter receipt to the next person parking or buying a coffee for the next person in line at your favorite coffee drive-thru. That happened to me recently on a particularly stressful day and it totally changed my day and put a big smile on my face for hours.

3. Breathe:

We all forget to breathe when stressed out, angry or feeling especially overwhelmed. Taking some deep belly breaths (breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth) in a mindful manner will help to change your mood and perspective easily and quickly. Actually, it’s a great daily practice! No need to wait for the holidays.