This so-called joyous time of the year has its perverse, paradoxical elements. Christmas and New Year’s Day can make things markedly more stressful than they already are. Your cortisol levels (a stress hormone) can skyrocket. Here are some hints at combatting these seasonal stressors, annoyances and frustrations.

Take a deep breath. Hold it for a 5-10 minutes. (Hint: if you do this underwater, you can get yourself into the Guiness Book.) If you’re still with us, try repeating it. (Caution: Once rigor sets in, it’ll be very hard to relax your muscles – especially if you’re breathing has stopped.)

Another breathing exercise is the alternate nostril method. This is slightly disgusting and offensive to many delicate people, so you might not want to put any of your fingers near those orifices when there are squeamish people in the vicinity. My informed recommendation is to use leftover corks from wine bottles. (Caution: Do not use two corks simultaneously.)

Many gurus out there suggest you get into the lotus position and meditate. I personally found this very unsatisfactory, as my meditation turned to mostly concentrating on how to get out of the lotus positon … which was killin’ me. If you insist on meditating, I would advise getting comfortable. Do it from a chaise lounge or a hammock.

Try chanting. The professionals recommend an hour or two of this. I recommend one to two seconds (because if someone hears you, they’ll probably call Bellevue and have you admitted to a locked psych ward).

Finally, do not talk politics with anyone who voted for someone who raises your blood pressure. Have a bat ready to curtail any such discussion.

If you faithfully follow these thoughtful measures, then you’ll probably have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you don’t, then at least come to the club and play ping pong on January first, which should be your New Year’s first and foremost resolution. Lao Du