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Author: Kimberly Wilson

10 Holiday Tranquility Tips

Despite the festivities, garlands, and twinkle lights, the holidays can feel a bit, well, less than tranquil. To combat the chaos, I’ve sought to adjust my expectations and output over the years. It’s an ongoing recalibration.

Over the years I’ve shared an assortment of ways to help the holidays feel more tranquil inside and out. While this list is not exhaustive, the suggestions are tried and true. My hope is that they’ll offer moments of tranquility, too!

1. Get outside. Brisk, fresh, outdoor air helps ground me. Take in the scent of pine trees and wood smoke. Time in nature builds on a sense of interconnection. This larger view helps put things in perspective. Go see Christmas lights and outdoor displays. Last night Tim and I wandered through Longwood Gardens and it felt like a fairy tale.

2. Center yourself. During the hustle and bustle, it’s extra important to make time for self-care. Keep up your favorite centering practices such as sipping tea, sitting on a meditation cushion, writing in your journal, practicing on your yoga mat, or soaking in the tub.

3. Give. Gift your loved ones a batch of homemade jam, a beloved book, an artisanal treat from a small business, a box of their favorite tea (or whip up your own blend), or tickets to see an exhibit. Think useful and consumable. Volunteer. Donate to a special cause, adopt an orangutan, or sponsor a farm animal in their name.

4. Be kind. This time of year can be hard. Be gentle with yourself and others. Know we’re all doing the best we can. Practice loving-kindness meditation. This may have been a hard year. Honor your growth, lessons learned, and what’s to come. When you make a mistake, say to yourself “Bless my heart.”

5. Breathe. When you notice your shoulders creeping up toward your ears, your heart racing while stuck in traffic, or stress building, tune into your breath. Inhale to the count of four, exhale to the count of four, repeat. Again and again.

6. Travel lightly (and off-peak). Print this Tranquil Travel checklist. Save space by rolling your clothing. Choose layers perfect for mixing and matching, dressing up (pearls and heels) or dressing down (clogs and denim jacket). When possible, choose off-peak travel to avoid congestion.

7. Express gratitude. Take time to appreciate the little things: a warm bath, a steaming cuppa tea, a cozy bed, a devoted pet. Studies show that expressing gratitude can lower stress levels, help you sleep better, improve self-esteem, enhance empathy, and adjust your attitude.

8. Get moving. Exercise releases endorphins, reduces stress, and helps offset those extra holiday cookies. Put on your hiking boots or tennis shoes and hit the trails. Roll out your yoga mat and do a few sun salutations (yes, even when staying in a hotel or Grandma’s house). Grab your bike and begin pedaling.

9. Celebrate. If you’re feeling a bit of the bah humbug blues, put on your favorite holiday film, create a playlist of festive tunes (here’s one I created last year), go see a childhood treat such as The Nutcracker, and put up a few holiday decorations to evoke good memories.

10. Reflect + Dream. Review the year and list highlights and lessons learned. Create time to daydream about the new year. What do you hope to see, taste, touch, smell, and hear in the coming year? List everything that comes to mind and focus on the experiences you hope to have. Join me on December 31 for the Yoga + Mindfulness Mini Retreat and I’ll walk you through this process.

Wishing you a holiday filled with your favorite things. May this season be meaningful. Namaste.

P.S. Watch last year’s Facebook Live video on Tranquil Holidays.

Seeking Your Insight

Dearest Reader:

Last night while I was working on the new project I hope to announce later this month, I realized I should ask YOU what you most needed. Sure, I know what I would find helpful (which is what has led me to create every business, e-course, or product to date), but what would be most helpful to YOU?

After having to take some time off from Tranquility du Jour to get through the sale of my baby Tranquil Space and to refill the creative well, I feel a strong desire to create something special for you in 2018. An offering that takes the idea of tranquility in every day further, brings it to life in tangible ways, and deepens our community.

What would you most like to learn? Mindfulness. Style. Entrepreneurship. Creativity. Transition. Beauty. Decor. Wellness. Self-care. Animals. Giving back. Yoga. Writing. Bringing dreams to life. Vision boards. Reading.

Would you like this in the form of an ongoing offering? An e-course? A book? A live in-person or online event? Something else?

Please share how I can best serve you by leaving a comment below or sending an email. Thank you in advance for your input and collaboration on bringing forth a useful, beautiful, inspiring offering for 2018! Bisous. x

November in Review

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.—Lauren DeStefano

Month in Review

November was a beautiful month filled with an array of experiences—celebrating a 10-year “friendaversary” in NYC, honoring Tranquil Space’s 18th year, spending a weekend in a tiny house, teaching a charity class and then enjoying a veg Thanksgiving in the woods, collaborating with clients, hosting a Facebook Live, decluttering my closet (see ya six donated bags and boxes), sipping wine midafternoon at dog-friendly wineries, and doing lots of homework for my memoir course, vet social work program, and positive psychology training.

It’s hard to believe we’re now into our 2017 finale. Earlier today I got excited to pen my 2018 dreams and I had to remind myself to focus on wrapping up 2017 first. Tim likes to call me “ready, fire, aim.”

And in his latest mention of it, he may have been referencing Mr. Gizmo (last photo above). Gizmo’s a one-eyed, 10-year-old pug with Homeward Bound Rescue in Oklahoma—the same rescue who graced us with Mookie and Belle Starr. I fell in love with him on Instagram (don’t judge) and just happen to be going home to Oklahoma in two weeks so I’ll get to meet him. Fingers crossed it’s a fit. Mookie’s the wild card in the whole equation and I think I’ve kinda got Tim’s buy in. Kinda.

I’ve been moving in and out of eating pretty this past month and hope to get back on the bandwagon. I even signed up for a Vegan Master Course with Victoria Moran in August. Breakfast was a green smoothie, but I’m super duper craving vegan nachos now. Hmmm. Guess it’s all about balance.

Also, I have three books to read to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Since I’m reading about 30 books and happen to be on approximately page 40 with each of them, if I focus on actually completing three, surely I can get my gold star on Goodreads. Yes, that’s what motivates me!

Thank you, November, for the memories. I’m excited to see what December has in store and to tie a pretty pink bow around 2017! It’s been a year of uncertainty, transition, and expansive possibility. Bisous. x

December Wish List

Finish 6-month memoir course
Safe travels
Savor Christmas in Paris
Collaborate with clients
Complete more of my veterinary social work program
Host inspiring Yoga + Creativity session {done!}
Host inspiring Yoga + Mindfulness Mini Retreat
Sit with Sharon Salzberg & Sylvia Boorstein {done!}
Meet + maybe adopt Gizmo {the one-eyed wonder in the last photo above}
Enjoy time with parents in Oklahoma
Visit Longwood Gardens
Productive Pigs & Pugs Project Board meeting
Learn lots at positive psychology weekend workshop
Host fun Daybook Playshop for those who pre-ordered
Release info on new Tranquility du Jour offering for 2018 {SO excited!}
Release two podcasts

Savvy Sources

Plant-Based Eating Made Easy
If You’re Tired All the Time {she shares after sleeping 12 hours}
5 Things That Happen When You Put Your Phone Down
I Was a Guest on A Healthy Curiosity Podcast
5 Tricks to Cut Your Morning Routine in Half
The Clarity and Truth in Winter’s Scarcity
4 Mantras to Deal with Awkward Holiday Moments
30 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Over the Holidays
6 Sanctuaries Every Animal Lover Needs to Visit
14 Simple DIY Holiday Gift Ideas
Why Writing About Your Anxiety is Helpful
I Was a Guest on Tribe Grow {Interview about Yoga, Therapy, Animals}