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Staying Sane During the Holidays

For years now, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house. With the house filled with people, there’s a secret I have to stay sane during the holidays.

Between my four boys and all of the extended family that comes over, you can imagine it’s a bit of a madhouse! Thanksgiving generally means about 20 people over at my house, and TWO turkeys.

When everyone gets together, it’s easy for the “life coach” in me to come out. Having been in this body of work for 24 years and on my own for 16 of those years, can you blame me? It can be difficult to turn off!

My boys have a bit of a running joke about me during the holidays. They chime in with comments like, “Don’t people pay you for your advice? Maybe you should save it for them,” or “I haven’t paid my tab yet, maybe you shouldn’t be giving your expertise away for free.”

With all of the chaos, it’s easy to get caught up and stressed. Want to know my secret? When I get a few minutes, I sneak away and take a few minutes to myself. Whether that’s checking my emails (like I said, “turning it off” is hard!), or just taking a few minutes to sit in silence.

Here are a few ways to stay sane and to set yourself up for success when trying to meditate in a chaotic environment:

Set a timer.

If you’re stressing about getting lost in your meditation and being away from the action for too long, set a timer for five minutes on your phone. This will allow you to relax and actually, fall into your meditation.

Relax your body.

Take deep breaths and make sure you’re in a comfortable position. This way, you won’t have this nagging feeling that you’re uncomfortable. Visualize all the stress of the day leaving your body in waves. 

Focus on the present.

Clear your mind and allow thoughts to come and go in a relaxing manner. It can feel virtually impossible to “think about nothing,” so instead give your thoughts room to come. This way, you can focus on the present moment.


Meditation is something you can do quickly on a daily basis, so while it might seem urgently necessary during the holidays, it can also do you a lot of good to do this regularly. Start with short meditations and slowly increase your meditation time until you can meditate for 20-30 minutes at a time.

Find what works for you, but there are ways to stay sane, even when you’re surrounded by family for the holidays.

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