How to have a mindful holiday
As the holiday season gets into full swing, it’s important to remember that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. The fun, the family, the celebrations, the race to finish things up before the end of the year can all be exciting. Often, all that energy and excitement can leave you feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and overindulged.
Mindfulness can be used to help reduce the pressure and stress of the holidays. Mindfulness is the practice of being open and aware of what is happening in the moment—being present both inwardly and outwardly. Mindfulness has been shown to improve relationships, reduce stress and increase our ability to empathize with others. Mindful practices have also been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. (https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/)
Here are ten practices you can use to experience more peace, joy and mindful happiness this holiday:
Start moving your body
Take opportunities to move. Stand up. Park farther away and walk. Take time to get your exercise routine in, if you don’t have one start one up.
Avoid the sugar
Enjoy your favorite foods on the holidays. Try to avoid celebrating with food every day of December. At social gatherings fill up on veggies, and fruit trays aim to stay away for unnecessary sweets and especially liquid calories that can add up all too quickly. Think about the choices that will cause you to feel at your best in the days and weeks ahead vs. what may be tempting at the moment.
Slow down to consider others and how they’re feeling especially family. Everyone has their different tradition and things that are important during the holidays try to honor and celebrate the things that important to your friends and family.
The best way to light up a room is with a smile. You can connect more with people when you’re smiling. Aim to start all your conversations and greetings with the warmth of a smile. You may be surprised to see how people respond.
Shop or not. Be mindful of how vital the shopping items are. Find ways to show appreciation and connection without physical gifts. Consider donating to charities, saving money and investing time. The season of over shopping can lead to many unwanted and unnecessary stressors.
Keep your schedule light
One of the worst feelings can be feeling like you need a vacation after the holidays to recover. Think about how you want your holiday to be scheduled ahead of time. Do you want to have some downtime to relax or do you want to travel to places and be on the go? Make a plan and then choose how you’d like to commit.
Get off the screen
Decompress and relax by enjoying a phone and device detox. Make it a holiday tradition that the whole family observes. Connect with people more closely without distractions. It can bring a lot of space and time into your life when you power off for a few days to a week!.
The season is full of light, joy, and peace. If you’re not feeling it, make some. Doing for others and sharing the celebration is one of the best ways to make you’re own.
Be kind to yourself. With so many expectations and stressors, it can be easy to be too hard on yourself. Practice speaking gently to yourself and to those around you who are also likely feeling the same things.
Gratitude is a warm feeling of thankfulness towards the world, or towards the people around you. People who feel gratitude are thankful for what they already have. This season genuinely enjoy all that you’ve been blessed with and all those whom you love.