Tony Talks: Clearing Your Holiday Brain

My friend Tony is a real health and wellness guru who’s all about finding ways to keep expanding his mind. Here, he talks about how we can shake out the holiday-brain cobwebs. —M.S.

With four awesome kids and a great job that keeps me busy, I’m always counting my blessings. And during the holiday season, I’m also always looking for ways to take a few minutes to myself to re-center and refocus. The best way I’ve found to do this is by practicing meditation every day. Now, even if you think you don’t know how to “do it,” breathe easy: it doesn’t have to be complicated and I like to keep things short and simple. First, find a quiet spot (in a pinch, the inside of a closet has worked) and then try out one of the methods below.

Download an app. I found the easiest way to begin a meditation practice is to have someone else guide you through the process. That’s why an app is a meditation newbie’s best bet—and even after all of the years I’ve been meditating, I still use one. I love the time-range options and breathing exercises offered with the Calm app, as well as the Mindfulness app which reminds you when it’s time to kick back and breathe.

Light a candle. Not only does a scented candle, like the Thymes Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle, create a nice atmosphere for meditation, it also provides a point for you to focus on so you can begin to calm your mind.

Envision your happy place. Sometimes it’s hard to get into relaxation mode. One thing that gets me to calmness quickly is picturing a beautiful setting like the mountains and clear waters of Corfu where I recently vacationed with my family, and then I focus on my breath: filling up my lungs through my nose and exhaling through my mouth. Repeat.