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3 Ways To Tap Into Your Inner Zen During The Holidays

The holidays are always such a busy time with parties, work deadlines, presents, family gatherings, and so much more. We simply have a lot more on our plate than at other times of the year. And how does our nervous system react when a mountain of to-do's rises in front of us? It goes into overwhelm. Here are 3 things you can do to manage overwhelm and spend the holidays in zen mode.

1. Naturally shift your "operating mode"

When I work with clients who feel overwhelmed, the first thing we address before even looking at what is on their plate is the state of their nervous system. When the nervous system goes into "freak out mode" a.k.a. fight-or-flight, we physically do not have access to the rational and problem-solving part of our brain.

In order to come up with sound solutions to address all the things on your plate and to do it effectively, you first have to regulate the nervous system.

Tapping is a great way to do this. Breathing. Yoga. Take a bath. Practice self-care.

Notice the parts of you that say: "but I don't have time for self-care!!". This is an illusion. Only when you slow down and regulate the nervous system, will you be able to think clearly and actually know where to start.

Time will magically seem to slow down. Solutions for things that seemed so clouded and complicated will effortlessly land.

2. Let it go

Once the nervous system is regulated, you can now look at what is on your plate.

With a clearer mind, you may start realizing you were frozen by a sense of urgency for things that are perhaps not that important after all. And you can in fact drop a few things off your list.

Yes, it would be great to have all the things on your list done before the end of the year so you could feel light and ready to start the new year with a clean slate but it is often unrealistic.

The question is: what really needs to happen right now and what can you let go of or simply postpone?

Practice saying no. If some events can be avoided without upsetting anyone, let them go.

Block out days with no commitment.

Practice simplifying. Ask yourself: if this was easy, what would it look like?

3. Tap into your inner zen

We all have within us a "zen self".

It is a part of you that is always calm, at peace and it just sits there quietly, observing the world around without being pulled in it, without reacting, simply appreciating and laughing at the drama of life when life can actually be so simple.

Imagine that you are given a pill to tap into your inner zen self. If you fully embodied this aspect of yourself,

  • What would it look like?

  • How would you move around?

  • What would you do and not do?

  • How would you feel in your body?

  • How would you speak to others?


No matter how overwhelmed or zen you feel during the holidays, remember this is a practice. Perhaps this time of the year is your opportunity to bring more zen to your life. Imagine if you could mitigate the overwhelm now, how easy the rest of the year could be!!

Joyeux Noël and Happy New Year Y'all!


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Stephanie Labay helps women at a crossroads who are feeling stuck, and ready for a change, create a more fulfilling & meaningful work life, have an impact, and feel energized instead of stressed and exhausted.

With a Master's in Engineering, close to a decade in the corporate world, and another decade teaching wellness & mindfulness practices, she combines neuroscience, performance optimization, EFT, and mindfulness in a unique blend to help women redefine what is possible and transition toward their vision with clarity, ease, and confidence.

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