26/12/2010 12:38 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Commandments Of Christmas Calm

At risk of having Christmas pass you by because you're too busy trying to make the most of it? Doh! Slow down a little and enjoy it more with MyDaily's mini guide to creating calm in your day.


1. Give the gift of being present
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift - that is why we call it the present" (author unknown. But I bet they were top of Santa's Must-Visit list)

Put your shopping bags down. Put the kettle on. Switch your mobile phone off and. Just. Stop. Gather your thoughts, bring your attention to the present, to the room your in, the seat you're sat on, the lovely new boots you bought in the sales and just had to wear straight away. And relax. The more 'here' you are in any moment, the more room there is for happiness to light up your life.

2. Breathe deep
Deep breathing relaxes both your body and mind pretty much instantly. When someone's nabbed all the purple ones in the Quality Street or you're facing a genuinely stressful situation, consciously take some deep breaths. Inhale deeply through your nose. Feel your stomach and chest expanding. Hold for a second or three then exhale. Feeling more focused now?

3. Thou shalt not have a(nother) sambucca chaser
Yes, you're a laugh but piling on more booze when you've already had way more than enough is going to bring you more trouble than it is fun. It's hard sense the magic of a silent snow-kissed night or your niece playing a cherub-faced Mary in her school's nativity play when you've got an Ebenezer Scrooge of a hangover.

4. Be content with what you have

It's more than enough. But don't take my word for it, find the truth - and feel the inner peace - of being grateful for your lot for yourself. This quote from English philosopher Bertrand Russell might prove inspiring: "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness." It might also be helpful to first recognise the deep sense of unease that comes with wanting more all the time. Of being somewhere other than where you are.

5. Go easy on grudges
No matter how much your mother/father/brother/sister/aunt/family dog is winding you up this Christmas, let it go - let it go, let it, let it go! (to be sung in your head to the tune of 'Let It Snow'). They're not annoying you on purpose. And even if they are, that's their issue, not yours. Your best (calm) bet is gently brush it off, leave the past where it is, and have another mince pie.