6 TIPS TO SHAKE OFF HOL­I­DAY STRESS

Family Circle - - OFF DUTY -

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.

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