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Tips on Keeping Your Spirits Up During the Holidays

The celebrations, shopping and traveling associated with the holiday season can become a real grind if you don’t make time to relax.

How to Relax and Renew

Being relaxed and refreshed can make all the difference when it comes to having a healthy and happy holiday season. Try these techniques for recharging and renewing your spirit.

Deep breathing or breathing exercises

To relax using this method, you must consciously slow your breathing. Focus on taking deep, regular breaths. As you do this, you’ll find that your breathing will naturally slow down. Do this for five or ten minutes, initially, and then gradually increase your time.

Guided imagery

For this technique, you focus on pleasant images to replace negative or stressful feelings and to relax. Guided imagery may be directed by you or a practitioner through storytelling or descriptions designed to suggest mental images (also called visualization). You may take a mental vacation to your favorite getaway: by the ocean, a river, the beach, a rainforest, etc.

Progressive relaxation

For this relaxation method, you focus on tightening and relaxing each muscle group. Tightening the muscle allows the blood to rush in when the muscle is in its relaxed state. Progressive relaxation is often combined with guided imagery and breathing exercises.

Positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that reprogram negative thinking and inner chatter into positive. For example, if you feel you’re always giving your time taking care of other people and their problems, you might say an affirmation like: “I make time for myself.” or “I take care of myself, too.” If you’re feeling run down, you may want to affirm “I am healthy and strong.” If you’re worried about the hectic holiday to come a good general affirmation is “I can handle anything that comes my way.”