Home for the holidays: Avoid feeling overwhelmed this holiday season

‘Tis the season to be merry and bright, but between entertaining, shopping, family feuds and perhaps eating too much, the holiday season can seem less than joyful.

“What we found is individuals spend an hour a week worrying about their finances – that adds up to 52 hours a week that could be better used doing something else like exercising or mindfully thinking about the way we allocate our finances,” said Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions.

Overspending and maxing out the credit card this time of the year can be a cyclical habit – that will end with more stress every time.

“One of the things I tell my clients is – give presence – with a C, instead of presents with a T – because we know human connectedness increases longevity and decreases stress hormones,” said Carolyn Plater, a mental health clinician who specializes in addiction.

Plater recently co-founded a modern meditation studio in downtown Toronto called Hoame.

“We used to believe you needed to set aside 20 minutes or longer to get the benefits of meditation, but recent studies have shown less than five minutes per day of mindful practice, of breath work practice can actually decrease stress hormones and improve immunity functioning,” she said.

The Adelaide Street location offers instructor-led classes in a lit or darkened studio. Or customers can escape into their salt cave, where trace minerals relax the body and strengthen immune function.

Don’t expect perfection over the holidays.

Carve out time for yourself for at least five minutes a day and hold onto the sense of calm that comes when you focus on your breath.


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