6 TIPS TO SHAKE OFF HOLIDAY STRESS
1 Enjoy some quiet time. “Carve out time to give your ears a rest and just be silent,” says Samantha Brody, ND, author of the forthcoming Overcoming Overwhelm. “Read, meditate or take a walk in nature.”
2 Eat something mindfully. “Pick up a dessert or a piece of cheese, take one bite and savor it,” says Ali Katz, author of One Minute to Zen. “Try to name the flavors you’re tasting and the sensations in your mouth—spicy, creamy, rich.”
3 Behold something beautiful. And, yes, a gorgeous cake on Instagram counts. But so does a vase of flowers or snow falling from the sky. “The trick is to really notice its beauty, because that shifts you into the present moment,” says Katz.
4 Touch base with your body. Whether you’re about to walk into a party or cook up a dinner for 15, take a moment and tune in to what’s happening in your body. Are you frowning? Is your jaw clenched? Are your shoulders tight? “Start at your head and move to your feet, releasing any tension,” suggests Katz.
5 Draw a breathing square. Try this soothing 60-second meditation: Inhale for four beats, hold for four, exhale for four and hold for four again. Every four beats, draw one side of a square on a piece of paper.
6 Let your nose lead. “Smell goes right to the part of your brain that attaches a memory or a thought to it, so scent can be a really powerful relaxation tool,” says Katz, who recommends having calming scents like lavender, orange and cinnamon on hand as essential oils.