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5 ways to slow down and enjoy Christmas

Published:Wednesday | December 14, 2011 | 12:00 AM
by Sharon McConnell-Feanny

Okay, so it's December 14 and we are fully in the Christmas frenzy. You are probably reading this article with a 'to-do today' list a mile long and already in the stress zone. This is the one holiday that should be about slowing down and being in absolute gratitude, and most of us are in a state of panic, feeling anything but joyful and loving!

Don't get me wrong, I have had a few days like this myself. With three kids and a business to run, the responsibilities and expectations are overwhelming. But over the years, I have learned how to slow down and not take on the madness. Here are a few tips:

Keep it simple

Just say no. I have become very choosy about what our family does at this time of the year. There is an abundance of fun things to do. We choose the important ones, then add a few extra, but generally, we keep it very simple. We probably have a more quiet Christmas than most, but we have come to like it that way.

Just breathe

You would be amazed at how often we forget to breathe! When you find yourself stuck in insane holiday traffic, waiting in long lines at the supermarket, or dealing with kids on a sugar-induced high, remember to breathe! Just a few minutes of purposeful breathing can change road rage into a pleasant experience and stop you screaming at your kids.

Don't go overboard on gifts

I know you want to give your children, and loved ones wonderful gifts, but please try not to overspend and overindulge. Trust me, none of us can afford to do this and it is time that we face that reality. Take a realistic look at your budget, what you have already spent, and what you have left to carry you through to New Year. The last thing you want to do is get a credit card bill in January that you can't pay.

Better to give than receive

Clean out your closet and donate clothes to needy people, or pick up a few extra cans of food at the supermarket. When you give from a place of pure generosity, you tell the universe that you are already abundant and open to receiving all that is available to you. Teach your children and grandchildren that this is also the season of giving, not just receiving.

Slow down

Last but not least, slow down. Cut yourself some slack, give yourself a moment. Feel the cool Christmas breeze, gaze at the beauty around you and be grateful for all you already have. Enjoy your Christmas! All Christ wants on his birthday is for you to be happy and at peace!

Sharon McConnell-Feanny is a certified yoga instructor and co-owner of Shakti Mind Body Fitness. She has more than 25 years' experience in health and fitness; email: