Thanksgiving is over, and the holiday mayhem is on. We get warmed up to the mad rush of Christmas and holiday shopping well in advance. Starting in September, with the big box store displays of Christmas trees, lights, lawn ornaments, and holiday gift packages, there it is, in our faces. Still in shorts, mowing the lawn, driving around with the top down on our convertibles, there it is, much to our chagrin.

Black Friday, Local Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, discounts, specials, spend, spend, spend. Crowded parking lots, people in a hurry, windy weather, dark at 4 o’clock, but we need to get presents for everyone on our list.. don’t we? Ahh, let’s wait till the last minute.

Easy as 1, 2, 3 Holiday Tips

  1. Try this breathing exercise when you are getting freaked out. It’s called the 4-7-8. Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold for seven counts, and exhale through your mouth for eight counts. Try it a few times, and you will become an expert. It would be best to practice it at work… every day, but not too much, you may pass out. Next time you are in a traffic jam, long line, or plain old frustrated, think about it and do it.
  2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of filtered water in a store-bought container versus plastic if you can. Mainly during the day, less at night, to avoid interrupting sleep with nighttime bathroom visits. Start the day with a big glass and drink throughout. Tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks, and anything mixed with water don’t count. This keeps your body hydrated, staving off headaches and maintaining energy.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. Work at making your bedroom comfortable to lure you into sleepy land. Get rid of electronics, bright clocks, light from windows, and TVs, and try to follow the natural circadian rhythm of sleep, early to bed, early to rise, which makes the person healthy, wealthy, and wise.
  4. Bonus point 1: Wake up fifteen minutes earlier than usual. Start writing your initial thoughts in a journal called Morning Pages. (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way) Start with thanksgivings (10), then let your mind roll, dreams, thoughts for the day, free thought writing, and keep it where only you can access it because it’s no one’s business but yours. Practice this every morning, and you will find a much clearer vision in your day-to-day thinking. Eventually, this could lead to an epiphany!

These are just a few things my friends and foes could use to their advantage in the upcoming weeks.