The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful. When travel, in-laws and gift-buying are added to your likely already-busy schedule, it's not always easy to budget time to unwind.
If you don't have time to indulge in a good book or short story, we suggest you at least take the advice of one wise writer who knew a thing or two about slowing down. Thoreau once wrote, "Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth."
In keeping with this mantra, National Geographic has recently published a collection of their most calming nature photos, coupled with quotes that will remind you of what really matters. Take a break from the hustle and bustle, and check out these soothing images from Daily Calm: 365 Days of Serenity [National Geographic, $19.95].
"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do—and not doing it." - Mary Little
"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." - Nora Ephron
"I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex." -- Oscar Wilde
"I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing." - Katherine Mansfield
"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts." - Charles Dickens
"Water becomes clear through stillness. How can I become still? By fl owing with the stream." - Lao-tzu
"Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in fl ashes of light from heaven." - Henry David Thoreau
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy
"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." - Louis L’Amour