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Well, we are one week away from Christmas. Some people may be excited, some may be relaxed, and some may be STRESSED OUT. With Thanksgiving being late this year, it feels like Christmas is coming up faster.

For those of you who shop early and are very organized for Christmas, you are a ROCKSTARS!. And for those of us who shop late and are scrambling at the last minute, we are still ROCKSTARS but just a different kind. [haha]

There are things you can do to help relieve stress and enjoy the holiday. Today I want to share one to help you relax and see all your blessings this season.

At least once a day I would like you to do this exercise. If you feel that it is helpful, maybe do it a few times a day. It only takes a few minutes and it can re-frame your brain and relax.

I would like for you to find a comfortable place to sit. This can be on the floor, in a chair, or at a table; wherever is a comfortable quiet place to sit. Grab a pen and paper; this can be a journal, a notebook or just a piece of paper, it doesn’t matter.

Sit up straight and take a deep breath. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Take your time with these breaths. Take three of them. When you bring in the oxygen to your body this way, it helps you to decrease stress and increase calm.

By taking deep breaths, your heart rate slows, more oxygen enters your bloodstream and communicates with the brain to relax. Deep breathing also ups your endorphins, the “feel good” chemical. And who doesn’t want to feel good?

After your three breaths, write what you are thankful for. If your holiday is like mine and your work is really busy at this time of year, be thankful for the busy job you have. If you have family coming in town, be thankful for the family, even if they bring drama because you have the choice to not take part in the drama!

Be thankful for this day that you wake up, be thankful for the sun shining or the snow, be thankful for good friends, be thankful that you have a home, be thankful that you can celebrate Christmas or this holiday.

Write at least four or five things. And then take another deep breath and say “I am thankful for” and read each item out loud that you have on your list. Take one more deep breath, SMILE, and go on with your day.

By taking the breaths and writing what you’re thankful for it will help to re-frame your thoughts. It will help to relax you. It will take away some of your stress. If you are stressed or anxious, it may take doing this a few times to help you feel better, and that is okay! Although you may only feel better for a short time, if you do this a few times, it will help improve your mood.

Some of you may say “I am way too busy to take these few minutes for me” - then I would say “You are important enough to take 3 to 5 minutes right now and a few times during your day.” As they say when you fly, put your oxygen mask on first. You deserve this. You are worthy of that time. And it will amaze you at how it will help you through the day!

Sending you peace, love, joy & a Merry Merry Christmas! Sam

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