7 Ways to Take it Slow & Easy Over the Holidays

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November 14, 2017

By Pam Harlin, Meemic Foundation Director

Admit it! You’ve started counting down already to some of your favorite holidays of the year – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa. I know I can hardly wait for the holidays to arrive, but with the hustle and bustle, and the rush rush rush of shopping, cooking, traveling, winter storms, relatives, parties and all that the season brings, these holidays seem to come and go before you know it and leave you feeling bewildered and stressed.

Hey, you deserve to enjoy these holidays, so do me a favor and take a moment to review my list of how you can take it slow and easy this holiday season.
  1. Engage Your Surroundings – Declare this to be your season for discovery.  Whether it’s your Aunt Millie’s special holiday pecan pie or getting the inside scoop on your cousin Eric’s new tattoo, make it a goal to absorb yourself in these special moments. You’ll appreciate them even more later.
  2. Look With Your Ears & Listen With Your Eyes – Go beyond the obvious and take in the experiences of the season in a new way. For example, don’t just look at the snow … listen to the quietness it brings and rejoice in it.
  3. “Take a Walk With a Turtle …” (Quote by Bruce Feiler) – Where are you going so fast? Slow down and enjoy life’s unique moments – and try to do it selfie-free!
  4. Laugh. Giggle. Snort. – “Why does everybody like Frosty the Snowman? Because he is so cool!” Keep a joke in your pocket, a smile on your face and a laugh in your belly. It will get you through those holiday bumps and obstacles.
  5. Be a Conscious Breather – Inhale slowly … now exhale. And repeat. Disconnect from the stress by concentrating on your breathing and enjoying the health benefits deep breathing brings.
  6. Snuggle Up! – Get close and personal with what you love the most – family, friends, a good book, your favorite blanket. Whatever it is, something in your world misses your snuggles … make time during the holidays to catch up!
  7. Cheers to You! – Toast yourself daily! Celebrate all of your life successes – at home, work, and with your community. Here’s a slow and easy drink recipe that you can keep simmering in your slow cooker, bringing warmth and happiness to you this holiday season. Thanks for all you do! 
Honey-Mulled Apple Juice (Makes 10 servings)

6-inch stick cinnamon, broken
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
10 cups apple juice (2-1/2 quarts)
1/3 cup honey or packed brown sugar
Optional: cinnamon sticks

In a 3-to 4-quart slow cooker, combine apple juice and honey or brown sugar. Tie broken stick cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a spice bag and add to the cooker, as well.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Remove spice bag and discard. Serve in mugs with a cinnamon stick stirrer.