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Buh-Bye, Stress: The Trick to Staying Zen During the Holidays

The holiday hustle-bustle will be a breeze this year. (Photo:

A sad truth about the holidays: I am always busier in December than I am at any other time of the year (except maybe fashion week). With all the parties, get togethers and last minute gift-shopping trips, I can barely find more than a few seconds of “me” time to breathe. That’s why I make the most of the time that I do have by turning my apartment into a mini Zen palace. The secret? A relaxation trifecta of aromatherapy, candle light and soothing music. (If I can’t make it to the spa, darn it, I’ll bring the spa to me.)

But here’s the power-up move I’ve been using that really helps me get the most from precious stolen moments: I share these relaxation tips with friends and family, most especially the guys in my life. (Calm friends = calm me). Since most gents I know—hi, big brother!—find constant holiday socializing even more vertigo-inducing than I do, I’ve noticed that teaching them these tricks means I have one less stressor to worry about. Here are the candles, and appropriate music pairings, that I’m using this holiday season to soothe wrecked nerves and melt away stress: 

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