As featured in the HUFF POST:

Learn to Reduce Your Stress in 8 Simple Steps!

Stress can make an unfortunate appearance at any time of year, but when we are challenged, tired, or going through a crisis, it can spike. Though we can’t “stop” stress from entering our lives, we can take control of the level and intensity of it.

Don’t let stress consume you! You can take charge of your thoughts and reprogram your brain. There are ways to “de-stress” within minutes. All you need to do
is try them and experience more inner calm. The good news is that it can be done fairly quickly.

Here are 8 simple steps to get you started:

One. Breathe. Yes, just breathe in and out 3 or 4 deep breaths. It will instantly slow down and lighten any anxiety you feel. Tap into your inner calm.

Two. Train yourself to “power nap”. Many people say they can’t nap because they won’t sleep well that night. That may be true if you “over nap” but, power napping is different. New studies have shown that taking as little as a 20-minute nap can actually relax you yet give you enough energy to still function quite well the rest of the day. Putting you in a calmer state will cause you to fall asleep more easily at night. You may not have the time to “power nap” daily, but try it when you can. It really helps!

Three. Earlier is better. Schedule meetings or projects for the earlier part of the day, leaving your afternoons and early evenings for follow ups and less intense projects. Our brains seem to function best earlier in the morning.

Four. Take a meditation break. This doesn’t have to be a full-blown meditation with music and candles.
This can be just taking a brisk walk outside during lunch or a break. Get some fresh air and take in the scenery.

Five. Sip some tea. Tea (both black and green tea) have many wonderful benefits but also can be a soothing experience.

Six. Say no today. Don’t take on more than you can handle today. Turn a few things down and keep your schedule lighter once in a while. Learn to prioritize and set boundaries. It’s one thing to be more “giving” around the holidays; it’s another to lose yourself in the process.

Seven. Plan some downtown. Our bodies and minds need to rest at regular intervals. Always being on the go and “on” may be adrenaline pumping and exciting at times, but you will surely burn out. Pace yourself and plan for some relaxation. An evening home reading, writing or watching a good movie can be soothing to the soul.

Eight. Have the tomorrow is another day mentality. Give your best for today but know that there is always tomorrow to catch up.

The Holiday Season should be one of comfort and joy. By reducing your stress, you are giving yourself a well-deserved gift.

Author's Bio: 

Laney Zukerman is a Relationship & Empowerment Coach. She is the Author of Lessons for an Urban Goddess and The Urban Goddess Lesson~How to Spot the Bad Boys available on

She has been featured in REDBOOK, BRIDES, NEXTONSCENE, THIRTY-SOMETHING, NBC ARIZONA and is a contributing writer to the HUFF POST.