So the holidays are here and you are already stressed.  There is a ton of stuff to do, no time to do it, and your anxiety level is about to hit overload.  Calm down, take a breath – help is at hand.  Follow these tips on how to tackle holiday stress and you will emerge confidently, from the festivities.


First, you need to identify your particular areas of stress.  What is it that is throwing you off-balance? Family issues? Anxiety over money?  Anticipation of some event that you are dreading?  Nostalgia over holidays past? Simply by sitting down with a pen and paper and writing out a list of your major stressors, you will be well on the way to dealing with those stressors so that you can relax and enjoy the holidays.


The next step is to evaluate those stressors. DYoung Woman Thinkingivide the list into those that are simply traditions that have no true meaning for you, and those that really have meaning and bring joy to you and those you love. Don’t hesitate to eliminate those actions that bring you the most stress and are no longer a vital part of your holiday experience.


If money is a major stressor, focus on ways you can give meaningful gifts without spending much money. Think of gifts you can give that can assist in the personal growth of your loved ones. Instead of physical gift, perhaps they would appreciate more if you offered them a massage or an opportunity to attend a workshop or seminar they may be interested in. Wonderful books or CDs can be inexpensive yet can be completely transformative in ways that no other gifts can be.


Other excellent ways to reduce holiday stress include:



~ Exercise

~ Meditation


Yoga, with its emphasis on breathing and controlled postures, is well known as a stress reduction technique.  The gentler forms such as Hatha yoga, which is widely available, are preferable for stress sufferers and it is advisable to seek out a good teacher to learn the technique rather than attempting to master it from a book or DVD.  Tai Chi and Qi Gong are two other movement systems that are recommended as methods of stress reduction.


Starting or keeping up a regular exercise routine during the holidays is also an excellent idea.  Exercise releases feel-good endorphins in the brain that help us fight both stress and depression.  It also helps us to focus away from our everyday concerns, such as the demands of the holidays, and the tasks at hand, while allowing us to focus on ourselves.


Meditation is another wonderful stress-buster with the big benefit that it can be practiced almost anywhere.  This means that you can even use it to relieve stress symptoms during a situation or event that is causing those symptoms, such as a Christmas party.  One way of doing this is to choose a calming mantra: a word, phrase or thought that you repeat silently over and over in your head until you feel your stress levels subsiding.


Take a moment or two, periodically throughout the day, and take a deep breath, clearing your mind of all thoughts. Just taking a short moment like this does amazing things for your clarity of mind.


Whichever method you choose to help you deal with your holiday stress, make sure that you back it up with adequate rest and a healthy diet.  Try to avoid excess alcohol, caffeine, sodium and sugar and focus instead on vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables.  Looking after yourself physically also means feeling better as you start the New Year.

I recommend that you check out my book, From Confusion to Clarity, to help you through stressful times. To  find out more about our holiday special go to

How do you know when you’ve reached the state of pure doing?  How do you know when you have achieved this state?  Athletes often refer to this as “The Zone” and martial artists also work toward this state of no ego.  The greatest masters of the past have espoused this state of mind as the secret to their skill.  There is no separation between the self, the task, and the action, all there is, is the doing.

“Make a choice to be present in your life in a particular way.” – From Confusion to Clarity by Michele Harvey


Become aware of your thoughts without judgment, and focus your attention on the task at hand. Remind yourself that it is your goal at the current moment. Like any practice, you might get frustrated and feel like giving up. But stick with it. Slowly you’ll find your awareness and concentration is growing. If this sounds like meditation to you – that’s what it is! Imagine the power of meditating 24 hours a day, instead of 10 minutes a day.

Can you remember the last time you were engrossed in something so completely that you lost all sense of time? When you suddenly looked up to realize that hours had passed without you even knowing? That is the state of doing.  What time was it?  Now. Not the future you were worried about, or the past you wish never happened. Where is the doubt, the fear, the thoughts of lack, and urgency? Gone – the only thoughts you are using, are the thoughts you need to do your job. Fear, doubt and unhappiness only have a space to return when you’ve snapped out of doing, when you’ve dropped out of BEING, or showing up for yourself, as your most authentic self.

Bring this state of mind into your life’s work for your personal growth and development, and watch the positive results roll in.

To learn how you can have vital personal growth, check out my new book, From Confusion to Clarity, Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less at . Image

The introduction to my book was written by Neale Donald Walsch, the author of the Conversations with God series. I know that anyone that reads my book will benefit from the helpful guidance and positive perspective.

Welcome to our site!
We will share easy and efficient ways for you to shift your life from pain to happiness. All of our information is based on the book, From Confusion to Clarity, by author and poet Michele Harvey. To learn more about her book, go to or listen to the interview below.