There are dozens and dozens of products on the market that promise us “fast acting relief” for a myriad of things that ail us, such as heartburn, acid reflux, toothaches, sore throat, gout, high blood pressure—-you name it.

But what about relief for the pressures of the holiday season?  Is there some sure fire product that will take care of that for us?

We aren’t aware of one. But comedian Lily Tomlin may have said it best when she said, “For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”

In the midst of a hectic holiday season, slowing down is easier said than done. We’ve got presents to buy, homes to decorate, travel plans to make, meals to prepare and people to see, all on top of our busy everyday lives.

Despite our holiday responsibilities, it’s important to take care of ourselves, especially if we have just lost someone.  While we may not be able to put the holidays on hold, we can take some simple “time outs” throughout our routines just to catch our breaths and give us a break.

If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, take five minutes out and treat yourself. Take a short walk. Have nice cup of coffee or tea. Do some breathing exercises. Stretch. Listen to some of your favorite music. Jot down a list of what you’re thankful for. Hang out with your kids. Laugh a bit.  Whatever helps you recharge your batteries, give it a try.

It won’t make our responsibilities go away, but it can help give us a sense of peace and the refreshment we need to keep going.