Dr. Harrell, has issued 11 tips to help reduce stress and create a healthy, happy holiday season.

  1. Stay Positive! You are in control of your attitude - choose to be positive. Use affirmations and the power of positive thinking to stay positive.
  2. Use deep breathing! Practice deep breathing exercises to help you stay relaxed when you are feeling stressed (i.e.: waiting in line at stores or in parking lot traffic).
  3. Exercise! Park far away from the store so that you get a little extra exercise; try tai chi or yoga to help keep your body, mind and spirit fit
  4. Practice mindfulness! Stay in the present moment by practicing mindfulness -as you walk keep your attention on what it feels like to be walking (not on your list of things to do); or try mindful eating by eating slowly and paying attention to the experience of eating.
  5. Keep a gratitude journal! Each day record at least 3 things in your life for which you are grateful.
  6. Play! Watch funny movies, play games, have fun. Take time to play and engage in pleasurable activities.
  7. Enjoy nature! Take time each day to appreciate nature - a beautiful sunset, a freshly fallen snow, etc.
  8. Be generous and kind! Focus on helping those in need - good deeds can help us feel good about ourselves (i.e. - donate to charities, let someone get in front of you in line, etc.)
  9. Share your positive attitude! A smile can be contagious. Compliment and encourage others.
  10. Create a peaceful space! Create a peaceful space or sanctuary in your home where you can retreat and restore you inner peace. Spend at least a few minutes here each day.
  11. Connect with others! Be sure to spend quality time with friends and family. Nurture your relationships. Ask for support when you need it.