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We're deep into the holiday season, experiencing joy, togetherness, love…and stress. No matter how you celebrate (or especially if you don't), sometimes the holidays can be short on cheer and long on grumpiness. Here are some easy, no-cost ways to make your holiday merrier and brighter.

  1.  A Morning Routine. If, every day, you make a little time for yourself first thing, you can move through your day with more grace and intention. Keep it short and simple -- even 5 - 10 minutes of peaceful, alone time will center you and give you a touchstone for the rest of your day. Sip a cup of tea or hot chocolate, meditate, write in a journal, watch the birds outside, or just sit quietly and breathe. You can burn sage, or use an aromatherapy blend like our Holiday Warmth or one of our Peace Sticks to help calm your mind.
  2. Get Outside. Taking a short walk, without worrying about counting steps or burning calories, will both relax and energize you. Just stroll, and enjoy the fresh air with no purpose other than to get away for a few minutes. Even on a cloudy day, being outside in the light will help reset your mood.
  3. Under-indulge. Face it -- you're going to be inundated by "special" treats from all sides. Be mindful. You don't have to eat everything. Pick your absolute favorites and enjoy every bite.
  4. Get Enough Sleep. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Turn off your electronics at least 20 minutes before bed to give your brain a chance to unwind and settle down. Grab a quick nap on those marathon-length days. Even just lying quietly for 20 minutes will be enough to recharge both your body and mind.
  5. Laugh. A good, honest, belly-laugh will make any situation better. Call that one friend who never fails to amuse you and laugh until your belly hurts. Pick out your favorite laugh-out-loud movie and go with it. Tell silly jokes and laugh at your own stories. Besides being fun, laughter reduces stress, brings oxygen-rich air to your organs, and increases endorphins. Here's a freebie…Horse goes into a bar. Bartender says, "Why the long face?" Corny, and funny!

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