10 Tips to Keep Energized (and Calm!) During the Holidays

When the rush and worry get to you, these ten tips will energize and relax your holiday season. With a balance of energy and calm, you’ll get things done and enjoy your cherished memories.
1. Drink more water. It cleans out your body, fills you up, and provides extra oxygen for your busy brain (that’s why there’s an "O" in H2O). Keep a mug or carafe nearby, or if you don’t like water, try tea, a spritzer with lemon or eat a tangerine.
2. Smell your tree—or that tangerine. Good smells stimulate nerves and they release adrenaline, the energy hormone. Smells remind you of years past—plus they bring you back to the moment.
3. Brush your teeth with minty toothpaste. It stimulates your sense of taste and smell, wakes up acupressure points in the mouth, and reduces the urge to nibble cookies.
4. Tug on your ears. Speaking of acupressure points, your ears have tons of them. Acupressure points connect to the rivers of healing energy inside your body, according to Eastern medicine. If you don’t have time to visit an acupuncturist, just gently pull your ears–at the tops, sides, and down.
5. Exhale. Don’t take a deep breath (yet). First exhale a-l-l-l-l-l-l the air out. Keep exhaling. Usually we just exhale the "tidal" air in our lungs—the top layer. Breathing out the residual air helps you let go and take a fresh new breath.
6. Hum or sing. You’ll breathe better. Your body and senses will be invigorated with the vibrations of sound and breath. Try Jingle Bells or Joy to the World! It’s even better when you sing with others.
7. Twist. Spread your arms wide. Exhale and turn to the right. Inhale as you return to center. Then do the same on the left side. Repeat 3 times each side. Great for your organs, say yoga teachers.
8. Get rid of stuff. Our brains and bodies work hard just to manage all the wonderful items we possess. Clear a coffee table, give away unused clothes, reduce your supply of Christmas items you keep just because.
9. Light a fire. Turn off the lights and cozy up to the warmth and light of a fire—or candles in your fireplace. The light and heat of fire touch a primal, cozy connection to nature.
10. Volunteer. Even just a few hours in a soup kitchen, baking cookies for a retirement home, wrapping a present for a giving tree reminds you that you’re part of something bigger. Remembering there’s a bigger perspective—whether it’s for Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, or the Winter Solstice—highlights the purpose of the celebrations.
Finally, print this list and keep it at hand. It’s easy to forget even the simplest energy-boosting ideas when you’re caught up in day-to-day tasks. A printed list in your calendar or on the fridge will remind you to nurture yourself during this wonderful season of togetherness, love, and peace.
Sandra Kornblatt is the author of Everyday Energy Boosters: 365 Tips and Tricks to help you feel like a Million Bucks
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/takfoto/

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