How to Practice Mindfulness During the Holidays
The end of the year holiday season is upon us and that leaves many of us scrambling from now until New Year’s Day. Calendars are crazy, planners are packed and schedules are scattered.
Instead of rushing from this to that and getting caught up in the trappings of the end of the year holidays while we plan and prepare for the next holiday event, let’s shift our focus from presents to the actual present. After all, the present moment is a gift, that is why they call it the present.
By finding the right habits and ways to be more mindful each and every day, especially during the holidays, we can get back to what is really important. Here are ten ways to practice mindfulness during the holidays.
#1 Eat Mindfully
During the holidays, many of us cannot wait to get to a holiday party so we can belly up the bar for a holiday cocktail while stuffing our faces with endless appetizers and holiday cookies. Instead of throwing your health and wellness goals to the wind, focus on making more mindful choices during the holidays. Choose beverages and foods mindfully. Instead of enjoying endless holiday cocktails, choose one and sip and savor it. Then, select more mindful healthy holiday hors-d’oeuvres, and maybe you will have extra room for a Christmas cookie (or two).
Exuding warmth is a quality we all try to embody, but is also something we can become more aware of within our daily interactions, not just during the holidays. Practice being present when you are having a conversation with someone at that next cocktail hour or holiday party. Avoid looking at your phone, listen intently, and be fully present to what they are saying. Really be mindful of the conversation and fully engage with them.
#3 Explore the Local Community
Take advantage of the community you live in and appreciate it for all it has to offer, especially during the holidays. Spend time admiring holiday decorations, stop by the town square for a community event or walk the neighborhood and enjoy the holiday lights. You moved to your community for a reason, so rediscover the very reasons you first fell in love with it.
Don’t forget to give back to it either, especially during the holiday season. It is the season for caring and sharing, so join a local organization and volunteer. Not only will you be practicing mindfulness, but you will also be making your community a better place to live for everyone.
#4 Find a Mindful Way to Move
An easy way to practice mindfulness during the holidays is to find a way to move every single day. If you enjoy walks, get out in nature for some fresh air and a leisurely stroll, even if it is cold outside. Whether it is a quick 15-minute jaunt between meetings or a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, movement matters no matter how small. Plus, it is a great way to practice mindfulness, especially if you make it a phone-free walk. Take the time to really take in your surroundings and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature or your local community.
#5 Just Say No
Okay, this one may not sound like a way to practice more mindfulness during the holidays, but hear us out. When you say no to things you do not want to do, it allows you to say yes to things you do want to do. Makes sense, right? Instead of saying yes to something you do not want to do and blazing through it with your mind elsewhere the entire time, say no to these things so you can say yes to the things you want to mindfully be a part of during the holidays.
Another way to practice mindfulness during the holidays is to find something you like and just do it. Take that wreath-making class you have had your eye on, sign up for that holiday baking class, or visit that limited-time exhibit at the local museum. Doing something you enjoy is a great way to be mindful, so pick something of interest and go for it.
#7 Practice Self-Gratitude
Navigating now until the New Year holiday is not all about gift-giving, food, and parties, it is also about mindset. During the season of giving, make sure to give back to the most important person of all, yourself. Whether you curl up by the fireplace with a good book and hot mug of hot cocoa, meditate or simply sit by the window and watch the snow fall outside, remember to do something that makes you happy and helps you be more mindful.
#8 Shape Your Surroundings
Set up your home, social networks, and workplace to favor mindfulness. Bring a favorite piece of art to the office or put pictures in frames and display them on the bookshelf. Then, actually, take the time to look at these pieces of art and photos and carve out a moment to express gratitude for these people or things presently in your life. Dare we say it, but maybe even consider unfollowing social media accounts that do not bring you joy or support your current mindfulness practice.
If you are not well-rested and are walking around constantly on autopilot, how can you practice mindfulness? It is recommended that adults clock at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night, so take the expert’s advice and catch some zzz’s. Whether you turn your devices off an hour before bed or do some deep breathing exercises, do yourself a favor and get some more sleep, especially during the holidays.
#10 Spread the Love
You probably already have an inner circle of people you can count on. Family, friends, and neighbors. This holiday season, take the time to express your appreciation and gratitude for them by spreading the love. From furry pets to parents to spouses, find new ways to express your love for your family and friends each and every day. This may help you be more mindful of the important role they play in your life not just during the holidays, but every day.
Mindfulness does not have to be an impossible feat, especially during the busy holiday season. Instead, employ these ten tips and practice more mindfulness in your life during the holidays. Happy holidays everyone!
- Stay Healthy and Happy
Need some mindful holiday recipe ideas? Check out @MBVeganShare or join our CEO live @itsnolasnack every other Sunday when she shares some delicious and nutritious vegan recipes. Don’t worry, even if you aren’t vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.
Tag us @itsnolasnack so we can see how you practice mindfulness during the holidays.