Posted by: silverliningsblog | December 23, 2016

Staying sane over the holidays

16-12-23-holiday-lanternsNote: This is an updated version of a post originally published in December 2014.

The holiday season can be such a wonderful time…tasting terrific food, giving and receiving gifts, celebrating with people we love.

But it can also be very stressful…last-minute shopping and preparations, family members who push our buttons, unfulfilled expectations.

So what is the best way to stay sane over the holidays, and remain centered no matter what?

Follow these five steps if you’re feeling frazzled and want to re-connect with your higher self. (You know, the self who isn’t freaking out because you burned the cookies, your kids destroyed the house, and your Aunt Mabel had a little too much eggnog and is now doing the Bird Dance.)

Think you don’t have time? That’s exactly when you need to do this the most. Don’t worry…you can re-center yourself in as little as five minutes.

1.    Breathe

“Relax. Nothing is under control.”
— Buddha

When we are stressed, our breathing gets very shallow. Stopping to breathe more deeply can quickly reduce our heart rate and cortisol levels. (It can also keep us from turning blue with frustration.)

Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Fill your belly and chest completely, and pause at the end of each inhale and exhale. Do this for at least 5 breaths.

2.    Ground yourself

When I’m feeling frazzled, it’s almost always because I’m focused on some drama inside my head or trying to control something I can’t control (like Aunt Mabel’s egg nog consumption). I find reconnecting with my body and grounding my energy back to the earth to be very calming.

Try this short grounding exercise:

1. Stand strong. Stand with your feet on the ground, your hands on your heart.

2. Breathe. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.

3. Root to the ground. Imagine roots coming out the bottom of your feet and running into the ground, deep into the center of Mother Earth. Imagine warm, loving, compassionate, nurturing feminine energy flowing up into your body.

4. Connect to the sky. Next, imagine that there is a stream of light coming from the center of your head and connecting you with Father Sun. Imagine receiving strength, purpose, determination, and courage from your masculine energy source.

5. Balance your energies. Now imagine that your feminine and masculine energies merge together in the center of your body at your heart, and that they are completely balanced.

6. Affirm the present. Affirm (ideally out loud): “I am love, I am light. I am safe. Everything is working out for my highest and greatest good. All is well.”

7. Ask the Universe for what you want. Now open your arms to the sky and say (as loudly as you can): “I am open to receiving the love, joy, and abundance of the Universe!”

You may also want to check out this great blog post on Getting Grounded for the Holidays by Charlotte Bradley of Yoga Flavored Life. Charlotte provides a short 5-pose yoga sequence to help you get grounded.

3.    Be present

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’”
— Eckhart Tolle

The best gift you can offer people doesn’t come in a box…it’s your presence and attention. Look around you. Instead of wishing for what isn’t, enjoy the moment and the people who are in front of you, right now.

4.    Decide what you want

When we experience unpleasant situations, it allows us tune into what we really do want instead. And once you know what you want, you can begin taking steps to create it. Don’t feel like being alone? Call someone up or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Overwhelmed by too many visitors? Sneak off and do the grounding exercise above or take a hot bath and listen to calming music.

5.    Focus on blessings

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”
― Wayne Dyer

Things may not be perfect, but there is still undoubtedly much good in your life. Using each of your senses, pause and feel gratitude for the good things around you…the smell of roasting turkey, the sound of laughter, the excitement in your child’s eyes. (And just look at Aunt Mabel…it’s hard not to smile when you see her enthusiasm as she dances on the table. Or to admire her moves at 80.)

If you slow down long enough to see the beauty in the imperfection, you’ll start to appreciate what is already going well. And how blessed you truly are.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones…even Aunt Mabel.

If you like this post, please comment below, and share with others!

Looking for more ideas? Check out this blog post by my friend Lauren Jawno:
10 Strategies to flow through the holiday season – sanity intact!


Karen Strang AllenKaren Strang Allen is an empowerment coach for single women and mother of two. She is also the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about themselves, turn their heartbreak into the best thing that ever happened to them, and create a life they love, so they become a magnet for their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources at



  1. […] Staying sane over the holidays (Karen Strang Allen) […]

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