By Annie Kinnett Nichols

We’re supposed to feel all warm and content as the holidays approach, but it’s not always unicorns and rainbows during this politically correct time of the year.

Sometimes I think the holidays can be hard for people, especially if they don’t have a bestest, spouse or family in their lives. I thought I might share a few things that have worked for me when my crazy meter has tipped to far over into the red. Go ahead, clip it out of the paper. If this isn’t a tough time for you, just save it. One day, I promise, it will come in handy.

Exercise: Jump up and down, run around the block, yoga, (, the home school of yoga) ride a bike, pick up an old sport you loved or learn a new one.

Volunteer: Get out of your head and spend time with other folks that need help.

Laugh: Find anything that makes you laugh and go with it – funny movies, cartoons, books. Try and laugh as much as possible.

Smile: Smile in your car, in your shower, in front of your kids,  at your dog. It doesn’t have to be genuine just curve your lips upward and keep them up for a bit. You might be surprised that the genuine thing doesn’t come over you.

Breathe: Whenever you read or see or hear Breathe – do it. Try and breathe (see, I said it again, so take another breath – and again!) a lot. It’s a good way to calm your crazy ass down, which you might want to say every time you take a deep breath: “I’m calming my crazy ass down now.”

Mantras: Tell yourself positive things in your head or aloud – I say “I’m in perfect time with the universe” over and over throughout the day. It helps me calm my crazy ass down (see above).

Eat healthy: Fresh fruits and veggies will make you feel better, or try something different and drink your drink your veggies (

Make time for real friends: You know,  the kind of friends that bring joy into your life.

Get therapy: If you’re broke, an inexpensive group therapy is the 12 step stuff – there are tons and they usually have free coffee.

Read: Two good books for starters – The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra and Passages by Gail Sheehy. It’s an anthropological look at what you’re going through during different times of your life.

Get spiritual:  Whatever this is for you –  Nature. God. Goddesses. Buddha. Sushi ( Meditation (

Do things that make you happy: Go to Old Fourth Ward Park. Go to a movie. Go window-shopping in Little Five Points. Throw out old clothes. Join a choir. Clean off your desk. Make your bed. Play with your dog. Take someone else’s dog for a walk at Piedmont Park.

Hope you have an awesome holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

2 replies on “Annie’s Guide to Holiday Sanity”

  1. I enjoyed reading your funny, spirited article. You made me smile repeatedly for good reason: You are truly a sweet funny lady!

    And by-the-way, you sure made me “calm my crazy ass down, now!”

    Thanks again for a great article!


Comments are closed.