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There must be hundreds of variations on the “Keep Calm…” slogan but how do you keep calm in the first place?

xmas-calm

The holiday period is always hectic. Regardless of faith or persuasion, the insistent commercial pressure, increased social obligations and backdrop of damp, cold December makes this a stressful month. These three tips via MindBodyGreen will help you achieve holiday calm will help you get through the season with a smile.

Move more

If you want to stay centered, this is not the time to skip out on your yoga class or regular workout in favor of holiday shopping or party prep. Regular exercise is a powerful factor in building resilience: Studies have found that it improves self-esteem, counteracts social withdrawal, and reduces anxiety and depression—all factors that contribute to resilience. Yoga in particular strengthens vagal tone because it creates feelings of connection with oneself and with others.

Go outside

Even in cold weather, being outdoors can boost mood and self-esteem and increase creativity and focus, Wilson says. Time in nature, especially when it’s spent in the woods, exposes us to naturally occurring, highly beneficial chemicals called phytoncides, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol. There’s also a mindfulness component to outdoor activity when you take time to engage the senses and appreciate the feel of the sun on your face.

Be mindful

Incorporate a daily meditation into your routine; if you don’t have time to sit, then practice mindfulness wherever you are—whether you’re in line at the mall or on the road to yet another holiday gathering. Pause, breathe, notice what’s around you, and tune into the sensations in your body. Just a few moments of mindfulness can foster better self-regulation and more positive emotional states.

Share your top tips for holiday calm in the comments!

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