22 Ways To Feel Peaceful This Holiday Season

22 Ways To Feel Peaceful This Holiday Season

The holiday season is underway. While it can be a joyous time for some it can be full of stress, anxiety loneliness and grief for others. It’s times like these when an arsenal of tools and techniques to calm and settle comes in handy. So if the holidays have you on edge here are some tips you can use to ease into a state of calm and peace.


  1. Sip hot tea – Sipping hot tea is a simple way to engage your senses and get you grounded fast. As you sip pay attention to the scent, taste, warmth and the feel of it going down your throat.
  2. Give yourself a massage – Giving yourself a loving massage is an easy way to get out of your head and into your body. Choose a massage oil or lotion with a nice calming scent like lavender, chamomile, patchouli or jasmine. Massage your hands, lower arms and the bottoms of your feet Go further and engage in abhyanga. It’s an ayurvedic warm oil massage that you can do yourself. Here’s a great article on how to give a great head to toe self massage.
  3. Reach out and touch someone – Sometimes we just need to give or receive touch. Even cuddling a pet for 20 seconds is a great way to settle the nervous system. This elongated touch gives your nervous system a burst of oxytocin the bonding and belonging hormone.
  4. Move your body – A great way to get nervous energy out is to move your body in whatever way works for you. Walk, jog, hike, ride a bike…
  5. Spend time in nature– There’s something about being in nature that melts stressors. Being outside helps to break the rumination cycle and restore calm. Even if you live in an urban environment find a green space and breathe it in.A 2013 research study on mindful walking published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine noted participants with psychological distress who completed a mindful walking program displayed a reduction in stress and improved quality of life compared to those who didn’t do the program. How that for a quick go-to?
  6. Have a butterfly hug – So quick and easy and instantly grounds and settles. Here’s how.
  7. Look for color – Take a look around you and find everything that is blue, then repeat with green, yellow, red etc.…until you’re feeling calm. Its takes the focus off whatever is causing stress.
  8. Think of things that start with A, B, C…-Similar to looking for colors you can take the focus off stress by naming an animal that starts of A then one that starts with B, C etc. You can repeat this as any times as you need with different categories, like food, cities, names etc.
  9. Have a designated self-healing day – Start by setting your intention –today I choose to heal myself. Decide what you need to cultivate wellness and peace.  Is it solitude, time spent in reflection or in nature, journaling, receiving wellness treatments, reading, studying or ???
  10. Box Breathing – Inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4 hold at the bottom for 4. It’s a great breathing exercise if you want to be present but also calm.
  11. Take a deep breath – Take a deep breath moving the breath down to the diagram where you will feel your stomach rise. One simple breath can clear the mind. Try breathing as you walk or throughout the day as a refresher.
  12. Focus on all senses – This is an exercise often suggested for anxiety as it moves you out of your head where the stress originates. For example if you are eating focus first on look, smell, then texture, sound, and taste. If you are on a walk, what do you see, hear, smell, taste, feel?
  13. Take a cold or hot shower – Taking a cold or hot shower is another way to engage the body so you can get out of your head. A cold shower helps keep inflammation in check and helps to alleviate stress. A hot one can be warming and soothing.
  14. Break it down into steps-When you break a simple task down into steps it breaks the system of stressful thought by forcing the brain to focus on something else. Try breaking down brushing your teeth or tying shoes. Example pick up toothbrush. Pick up paste. Unscrew lid. Move too the brush to meet nozzle. Rest nozzle on toothbrush. Squeeze tube……
  15. Active meditation – Mediation doesn’t have to be sitting on a cushion with your eyes closed, any repetitive action can take you into a Zen like state calming the nervous system. Try vacuuming, running, chopping vegetables, kneading bread, knitting, etc…
  16. Tap into your artistic side – Drawing or doodling can help you calm down and regulate your nervous system. It’s another process that calms by getting you out of your head and into your heart. Try this…put pencil/pen on paper, don’t look at it, think of various emotions and move the pen accordingly. It’s interesting to see how different emotions look.
  17. Flood the body with serotonin – This neurotransmitter is known as one of the happy hormones. It influences our overall feelings of wellbeing. Soak up some sunlight or try light therapy or vitamin d supplements to bump up serotonin production.
  18. Give and receive hugs – A simple hug can decrease cortisol and increase serotonin. Have you ever had a bad day and really just needed a hug? There’s a reason for that. Physical touch such as hugging can help build connections with others and influence the production of serotonin, boosting mood, immunity and decreasing stress.
  19. Practice gratitude – Reflecting on things, people, opportunities, experiences and inherent strengths we have can have significant impact on our overall wellbeing and mental health as well as increasing the production of serotonin. The more regularly we practice gratitude the easier it is to spot the beauty in small things.
  20. Get a massage – Getting a massage contributes to an increase of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. The rush of these chemicals in your body can make you feel relaxed and elated afterwards – post massage bliss is a real thing!
  21. Listen to music – Listening to music you like activates the pleasure center of the brain, which release dopamine and serotonin and helps to maintain high serotonin levels. Create a playlist and have it accessible and ready to go whenever you need it.
  22. Replace negative thought with positiveness – It’s a lot easier than it sounds. It’s the principle behind the Oh My Word journaling method. Simply choose a word that represents how you want to feel or who you want to be. Draw, print write or doodle it on the page and color. Bingo. You’ve created what scientists call a ‘thought interruption’. You’ve replaced a negative thought with this new positive one. The new thought creates new neural pathway and the brain begins to rewire itself based on your word! How cool is that!

Keeping ourselves balanced and centered is within reach. It doesn’t have to be onerous most strategies as you can see are easy and enjoyable. All is well. Wishing you peace this holiday season. xx


Sending heartfelt wishes for a calm, peaceful holiday.

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