How to Ease Holiday Stress in 3 Simple Steps

Erica Rodefer Winters


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there’s no denying it: The holiday season is upon us. And if you’re like most of us, that means a rush of activities. Parties, happy hours, and shopping all become the norm. There will soon be glittery, flashing lights everywhere. Holiday music will blare from every retail store speaker. Even if you’re doing your shopping from the comfort of your own home online, there will be a million things competing for your attention while you shop for Grandma’s perfect gift.


Ooh! Look! Someone just liked my Facebook photo!


What was I talking about, again?


Oh, yes. The holidays. And how there’s so much happening during the season, it can be overwhelming and difficult to focus…


I’m a yoga teacher, so it’s my professional obligation to recommend a yoga class as an anecdote to just about everything that ails you (I think it’s in the Yoga Alliance’s code of ethics or something). But, I’m not going to do that because I think adding something else to your already busy schedule might not be the best way to combat overstimulation. In fact, I’ve noticed that many yoga classes (with their blaring pop playlists, neon-clad students, and complicated pose sequences) actually ADD to the sense overload many of us experience during our busiest times.


Here’s what I suggest instead: A simple, 2-minute practice you can do at your desk (when you take a break from work or shopping for Grandma), before bed, or any time you just. want. to. make. the. noise. STOP. (As a bonus, it's also a great way to soothe tired, dry, computer eyes.)


Try this:


1. Take a deep breath as you rub your hands together, creating some warmth.




2. Bring palms to your eyes, and let your fingers will rest lightly on your forehead. This will give a very light pressure and block out all stimulating light.




3. Breathe. Focus on the air entering your lungs. Feel the warmth on your eyes. Enjoy the dark. Stay here for about a minute or longer if you can.