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3 Top Tips For Stress-Free Holidays

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.”
—Author Unknown

I love this time of year. My childhood was chaotic and dysfunctional but during the month of December it always felt loving and peaceful to me. Maybe it’s because the energy of love, peace and kindness is in full force this month you can feel it in your veins. For many of us this is: Time to celebrate, observe, and get together with family and friends. But let’s be honest all of this celebration often comes along with some stress, right? I believe we can plug into the stress that’s in the air or we can live in the deep feeling of peace and joy that this time of year evokes. December truly is a template of how we can live every day of every month- peaceful, loving and kind- while managing the stresses of life. But how?

It is totally possible to feel peace and joy from the inside out, even amidst all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, planning, preparations, social activities, and of course, traffic! In fact, the joy and peace inside of you is always there—no matter what is going on around you. We have everything we need inside to not only survive, but thrive! What does it take? Spend time first thing in the morning with you in silence connecting within then remember to stop, breathe, and reconnect whenever you start to feel stress “getting the better of you” throughout the day. I say often, “Stop and then start again.”

Stop, Breathe, Reconnect
Who ever said we had to always go and never stop? I say Stop, Breathe, Reconnect as often as you need to throughout the holiday season to keep your focus on the joy and peace this time of year brings, rather than on any unease or stress you might feel. It really does take just a few minutes to acknowledge the stress you are starting to feel and then make a decision to reconnect to your inner source of peace and calm. Here’s how:

  1. Stop
    As soon as you notice your unique signs of stress, this is your trigger to stop whatever you are doing—even if only for a moment. Maybe you can find a quiet place to be alone for a couple of minutes, but if this is not possible, stopping can be as simple as moving to another space in the room or even shifting your weight from one foot to the other. This is telling your body and mind that you have decided to take a different path—a peaceful, joyous one.
  2. Breathe
    Often, when we start feeling stressed out, our breathing becomes rapid, or in other cases, we might hold our breath. Either way, this is a sign that something is out of alignment. Once you have stopped what you are doing, take a few deep breaths to regain control of your mind and body. Regardless of what is happening around you, it is in your power to relax your breathing. These breaths don’t have to be obvious or exaggerated. Simply breathe. Remember your breath is your life force, it fuels you 24/7. It’s truly our power!
  3. Reconnect Within
    After a few breaths, focus your attention on your heart. There may be a lot going on around you, but remember that whatever it is, it is outside of you—not inside of you. Acknowledge your inner self and become aware of the calm presence of your spirit.
  4. * * *
    These 3 tips above take seconds- so remember to stop and start again all day long. You will Stop, Breathe, Reconnect then return to whatever it is that you were doing. Try to be present in each moment of your day. Absolutely, this time of year often puts many more demands on us which increases our stress levels, but if we can remember to take these three simple steps as often as necessary, we can truly feel this peaceful season. Feeling this peace we carry it day after day after day, all year long.

    With love and peace,

About Barb Schmidt

Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.
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