12 Quiet Tools to Calm You Down During a Busy Holiday Season

I often hear people use the words, “I’m so busy”. I hear these words more than usual during December, because of the holiday season. “This is a busy season for me” are words said so often it almost sounds like a mantra during the Christmas season.

People may believe that it is just life, and that it is not really changeable. But it is changeable, because we can use “quiet tools” to handle holiday stressors in our lives. The following list is a set of quiet tools to use during this busy time of year:

1. Take a “breath break” at least once an hour. You may even want to set your computer/phone/timer reminder to make sure that you take your break. You will quickly recognize how good it feels to use this “quiet tool” regularly when you take this breath break. Here is a suggested strategy to make this tool work well for you: If your sinuses are clear and comfortable, take this lovely breath in and out through your nose, keep your mouth closed, and let your jaw relax (usually means that your teeth have a slight space between the top and bottom teeth). When inhaling, ensure that your breath causes your belly to expand (think of inflating your belly button area), and then enjoy expanding the breath upwards into your chest. It might feel like a “two part” breath; but be assured that it does not take long to have it feel like a fluid, comfortable motion. Do at least 3 of these lovely breaths, notice that it feels good and does not take much time.

2. Take a break from watching/reading news. Much of the information we receive from the daily news is negative and can drain energy. For instance, oil prices will always go up and down, and are not in our control. Weather always happens in its own way and we are also just along for the ride. What we can control is what we allow to bother us. A break from a bombardment of negative information beyond your control may have a big pay-off: your wellness.

3. When eating and drinking, soak up the entire experience to its fullest extent. Enjoy it all as you focus on each bite and each sip. Notice what senses you use during the enjoyment of these experiences. This “quiet tool” is worth practicing regularly to make it into a good health habit.

4. Be okay with doing less. This time of year can be full of many obligations, or things that you believe that you “have to do”. Guess what? Your obligation list can be revised, and this “quiet tool” of a smaller list can work really well. For example, which obligations can you say “yes” to, and which ones may be worthwhile saying “no” to? There might be some traditions that can be done differently. For example, do you really require all of the baking, so many gifts, or sending Christmas cards? Even one little “tweak” may make a big difference to improving your energy level, and your feeling of quiet in the midst of your busy.

5. Recognize that things will get done. It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed at times during this season, so use the “quiet tool” and check off what you have already done versus focusing on what is not done on your list. It may mean that you are naturally prioritizing your list.

6. Slow down and picture that things often do not need to be done in haste. Recognize the pace that you have chosen for your seasonal list and notice that you are able to feel the “quiet tool” of your comfortable pace.

7. Know that it is not required to suddenly “like” everyone during this season. Sometimes emotions will come forth during the holidays that are not required, especially feeling guilty about personal connections. Recognize that quite likely that person or those people have connections that work better for them than the one with you. This is a “quiet tool” that can feel healthy when you discard the self-induced guilt factor and instead focus on the fact that all people have good and not so good connections with other people.

8. This “quiet tool” tends to be a favorite for most people: put on your “feel good” music. Sometimes it may be the seasonal music that brings good feelings and, for others, it might be “that song” that instantly brings up the personal energy levels. Recognize what works for you and use it.

9. Take a break from your cell phone/computer…or any other technology break. Whenever I have forgotten to take my cell with me, I have taught myself that it is probably the break that I needed at that time. It is an often avoided “quiet tool”, however the payoff may be bigger than you can imagine.

10. There are times when you are required to be in the midst of a busy time (e.g. shopping at a mall, or being at a function) and there are a few “quiet tools” that you can use. For example, choose a mall that may have a better “feel” for you. I am not a shopper, but there is a mall with plenty of stores that works well for me because it feels more open and less crowded, plus the parking is ideal. Another tip when faced with a busy atmosphere: choose to be near a wall or the side of a hall instead of the middle of the space. Passersby on one side can feel much more comfortable and relaxing than having people walk by on either side of you. The same idea applies to a busy restaurant: choose to sit near a wall because the movement of sound will be lessened and you will be able to enjoy the conversation at your table.

11. Listen more effectively to yourself and to others. Listen to what you hear yourself saying to yourself (e.g. note your “I’m so busy” talk and stop it from becoming a mantra). As for others, stay focused on their part of the conversation and avoid being busy in your head with what you want/need to say. Have faith that you will be able to comfortably converse without preplanning what you may believe you require as part of the conversation. This “quiet tool” is absolutely worth practicing and you will soon notice that you learn a lot more about the other people in the conversation. It makes the experience more nourishing for everyone.

12. Be okay with asking for help. Sometimes there are things that you would like to get done in a certain time frame and it is not possible to complete them on your own. If you are a person who likes to help others, recognize that others want to help you too. Work on being better at receiving rather than always being the giver. This “quiet tool” has a huge payoff for your overall wellness.

Enjoy this opportunity to take care of yourself in the midst of your busy holiday season. These simple tools can help keep your energy reserves at high levels while you face your seasonal obligations. They can deliver a huge payoff to your overall health and well-being. You can also use these “quiet tools” regularly during the whole year and you will be amazed at how much better you feel because of them.

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