Are you already stressed to the max with prepping, shopping, wrapping, hosting, travelling… and all this before the big day even arrives?

We know it’s a time full of commitments, craziness and chaos, and that’s a potential hazard to our emotional and mental wellbeing.

Before you have to plough yourself into the demands of December 25th itself, we thought we’d share our top tips for how to restore inner calm this festive season, even if you’ve got just one minute, 15, or an entire hour in which to do so.

1 If you only have… 60 seconds

Time is of the essence, but that state of calm is possible. Wherever you are, and whatever is going on around you, take a full minute to close your eyes and concentrate only on your breath.

As you breath out, breathe away negativity, stress and frustration. Visualise it.

As you breath in, breath in positivity, happiness, love for your family and joy for the season.

Feel the rise and fall of your chest, draw in the air into your lungs and exhale any negative thoughts or angst.

Ok. You’re done. You’re back in the room!

2 If you only have… 5 minutes

That’s enough time for the kettle to boil and you to hug a mug. Whether you take that cup of hot chocolate or gingerbread latte and sit with it in your child’s bedroom out of sight of everyone, or whether you sit outside in the garden and cradle that hot comfort for a few moments and watch the wildlife do it’s thing – this is your time to pause.

Consider your breathing, and bring to mind only positive thoughts.

3 If you only have… 15 minutes

Flick through the plethora of available comedy podcasts or guided meditations available through whichever music and sounds resource you rely on for your usual entertainment.

A 15 minute slot is ideal to allow you to stick the headphones in and lay on your bed or sit in the garden or the car for a few treasured moments and take that breather from the craziness.

Sashay back into the front room when you’re restored and ready.

4 If you only have… half an hour

This slot gives you enough time to pick up that book you’re in the middle of reading (ok, or e-book on your tablet), or to even grab your finest colouring pencils and an adult colouring book, and lose yourself in half an hour of another world.

We recommend taking this 30 minutes out of clear sight of others. What you don’t need is a couple of five year olds telling you they’ll help you ‘colour in’, or that highly analytical uncle wanting to dissect what the reason is behind your choice of literary pick.

You’ve enough time to sneak a cuppa and a mince pie out of prying eyes too!

5 If you only have… one full hour

Right, get the wellies on or the full set of new Christmas gloves, hat and scarf.

You don’t have to be in an idyllic setting to head out for a brisk walk and get some oxygen into your lungs.

The colder air and the chance to observe other activity as you stroll, will really help your inner calm begin to emerge again.

Ideally, this is a walk you’ll take on your own, or with that one relative who isn’t going to add to your stresses and strains in that special 60 minutes.

Enjoy the breather. And remember… you’ve just earned yourself another sausage roll and glass of bubbly!