By Shelley

Merry Christmas! My gift to you is 5 Easy Steps to CALM. In the midst of holiday stress, fluctuating business hours, and family obligations, take a few moments to find CALM in your day!


1. Breathe: Being AWARE of how we breathe is an important way to quiet the mind chatter and relax our bodies. If this is the only step you master over the holidays, great, it may be just the right gift for you. So while standing in long lines at the store, sitting in traffic, or dealing with overtired, screaming children, you now have a secret. Breathe. Without your shoulders rising, take a breath until you feel your abdomen swell. Now exhale slowly and evenly, until your abdomen falls. Do this as many times as it takes to bring your mind to your breathing.

2. Visualize: In your mind’s eye, create a CALM Vision. I want you to recall a very specific scene where you were in your bliss. One in which you are calm, content, loving, playful, happy and full of joy. Take a really good look at this scene. How do you feel? What are you saying, doing, smelling in this vision? Now, imagine turning up an imaginary volume button on your positive CALM Vision. Once you have this picture in mind, give it a name. During the holidays, when you feel your temper rising, say your CALM Power word and turn up the volume on your CALM Vision.

3. Be Intentional: Set clear goals and intentions, from shopping to party activities. This will keep you from overextending yourself emotionally, physically and financially. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and suffer the consequences later. To set an intention or goal, visualize that it is already done. In your mind’s eye, include specifics: How are you thinking and feeling about this goal and intention now that it is complete? This may sound like work, but it’s simple. Here’s an easy example: You plan on shopping for the items on your holiday grocery list. Before you walk into the store, imagine finding the best prices. Mentally tell yourself “I’ve found a great deal, I am seeing people I know and like at the grocery store.” Take accountability and change your energy to a positive mindset. Have some fun and see what happens if you do this. It keeps you focused, and practicing a great tool in your calm toolkit for other situations.

4. Take care of your health: If you are already physically active, stick to your schedule as much as possible. You can still have fun! Allow yourself a few cheat days with the intention of returning to your fitness goals. Stay both hydrated and energized by drinking plenty of water. Remember all of your routine medications despite the excitement. Carve out 10 minutes for meditation each day, and do not neglect your rest! 7-8 hours of restful sleep is recommended per night.

5. Reframe situations by forgiving and looking for humor: While the holiday season brings much joy and laughter, it can be a difficult time for many people. Sometimes too much together time can cause more introverted or sensitive people to feel overwhelmed. Let’s face it, even a party-loving person can be thrown off-guard by an unexpected comment. Office parties and family get-togethers are times of celebration, and after a few drinks, people tend to loosen up even more. Not one of us is perfect, so let’s ignore anything said in the heat of the moment and try reframing the situation.

Reframing takes a situation and circumstances and then gives those “facts” a different meaning. This different meaning allows us a new approach and gives us fresh possibilities for both actions and responses.

Let’s take a closer look:

Problem Statement: My business partner won’t stop talking about endless business challenges during our holiday gathering.
Reframed View: My business partner is so dedicated to our business goals; she takes advantage of all Christmas networking functions. This year, I will remind her of how grateful I am for her dedication and remind her that she deserves rest and relaxation, starting with this gathering.

How do you see your business partner in the latter scenario, compared to the former?

Let me know!

If you want more CALM Power, learn about the other 26 Social and Emotional Competencies by signing up for My Free Community call at

Have a CALM, Joyous Season!