For many of us, the holiday season is a marathon. From decking the halls, baking Christmas cookies, and — who could forget — all of that holiday shopping, the holiday season is a stressful time for many. During this time, it’s important to slow down and savor the present moment. After all, the holidays will be over before you know it! This year, approach the holiday season differently by remaining mindful. Here are five tips for practicing mindfulness over the holidays.
There’s no better way to create mindfulness than with a daily ritual. Whether it’s slowly sipping your morning coffee or tea from your favorite mug or taking a midday walk out in nature, figure out your daily non-negotiables and create a daily ritual around them. During the holiday season, you may not be able to fit in every one of your health and wellness practices (i.e., morning meditation, an afternoon walk, quiet time before bed) and that’s alright, but choose what’s most important to you and carve out time to accomplish what really matters the most.
Gratitude can vastly improve your mood so keep an ongoing list of what you are grateful for this holiday season. Write everything down in your favorite notebook, create a note in your phone or keep a mental list, but choose something that works best for you. Gratitude will transform the energy around you and will help keep you in a positive flow throughout the entire holiday season. Take it one step further by starting and ending your day with three things you are grateful for in order to shift your energy into a more positive energetic flow.
Nothing will take you away from the present moment and your holiday mindfulness more than technology. Looking at phone notifications, checking emails, and updating social media takes you away from the present moment, so this holiday season consider going on a digital detox from all devices — even if it is just for a day! Take time away from the social media comparison and focus on real life instead. (You know, the one happening right in front of you and not the one on your Instagram feed). Even though you may not be documenting every moment of the holidays with family and friends for social media to see, still make the most of the present moment. Watch a classic holiday film with the entire family, bake batches of homemade Christmas cookies with friends or walk around the neighborhood with neighbors as you gaze at the twinkling Christmas lights and holiday decorations.
Repetition is a wonderful way to root yourself in the present moment, so choose a word, phrase, or mantra that describes the feelings you want to experience over the holidays. Write it down and place it somewhere you will see it often. Some ideas include: present, peaceful, grateful, and connected. Bring yourself back to your word throughout the day and watch how effortlessly your word begins to transform your holiday experience.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, before we know it they are over and we are left wondering where the time went. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you this year. Take the time to slow down, check in with yourself, and appreciate the present moment. Curl up in a big cozy chair, close your eyes, inhale and slowly exhale. Take in the holiday smells of cookies baking, listen to the crackling of the roaring fire, feel the fibers of the winter blanket wrapped around you. These little moments, though short, will help keep you present this holiday season.
There’s no right or wrong way to be mindful this holiday season. However you choose to remain mindful over the holidays is yours to create; just remember to breathe, listen to your heart, and choose whatever resonates with you the most. After all, the holidays only come around once a year, so use these five tips to stay mindful this holiday season.