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Gayle King Shares 5 Ways She Finds Happiness During the Holidays

News anchor, radio show host, and O Magazine editor-at-large, Gayle King, 65, shares what helps her feel balanced and joyful during the holidays — and beyond!

Unwinding with music and TV shows.

“I love music, and I still use my iPod to this day!” Gayle shares. “From Josh Groban to country music to Jay-Z and the cast of Hamilton it all helps me unwind.” Another one of Gayle’s stress-busting activities? “Watching Netflix! I just watched Ratched and have comedies like Schitt’s Creek on my list. Whether I’m watching a show or listening to music, it’s a soothing way to get in a little ‘me time.’”

Working out at home.

“The ‘quarantine 15’ is real!” Gayle laughs. “I got on the scale the other day, and I screamed out loud. I thought, Where is the paramedic?!” With holiday sweets and treats on the horizon too, Gayle is focused on prioritizing daily exercise — even for just a few minutes. “I like to work out at home. I do the treadmill and weight tapes like Turbo Jam that I can pop into my DVD player. Yes, I still have a DVD player! I’ll walk on the treadmill in my apartment, or I go down to the gym in my building, where I can do the elliptical. Doing just a little every day adds up!”

Focusing on the good.

“This year, I’m a little worried about how to navigate not being with my loved ones during the holidays, which I’m sure is going to be hard for many people,” Gayle admits. But she’s learned a tried-and-true trick for restoring calm. “After Rachael Ray’s house burned down, I called to see how she was doing and she said, ‘It’s terrible, but I prefer to focus on what we have as opposed to what we don’t.’ So when I get a little down, I redirect to what I do have — and I find peace every time.”

A small but mighty support system.

“I’m fortunate to have my son, daughter, and Oprah as my support system,” Gayle notes. “My circle of true-blue people is small, but just having a few people who call to say, ‘Do you need anything?’ or who care whether you make it home is a gift.” Another gift? Strengthening those bonds through cherished holiday traditions. “We used to read The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve when my kids were little,” Gayle recalls. “It’s still a great way to bring everyone together to enjoy the spirit of the season.”

Protecting and advocating for kids.

As co-host of CBS This Morning, Gayle reports on the world’s most groundbreaking news — and at times, her interview subjects become friends, as was the case with Nelba Márquez-Greene, the mother of Sandy Hook shooting victim Ana Grace Greene.

“After Ana Grace was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I interviewed Nelba and her family,” recalls Gayle. “I was so moved and impressed by how they handled their grief.” Now, Gayle helps Nelba with her program, the Ana Grace Project, which provides outreach for troubled children in the hopes of avoiding such tragedies in the future.

Another organization close to Gayle’s heart is SEO Scholars. “The program sends minority high school kids to school during the summer to prepare them for college,” Gayle says. Started by Henry Kravis, the nonprofit provides mentoring and hands-on college prep for kids in underserved communities.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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