Six Mindfulness Tips for the Holidays
Holidays can be such a mixture of experiences - excitement, expectations, joy, disappointment, wanting to make it special and just wanting it to be over. There can be worry, gifts, finances, travel, family relations, weather issues and more. There may be moments of challenge, stress, or tension mixed into moments of tenderness, love, and light-heartedness. In truth, for many of us, holidays are simply a mixed bag! Remember that life unfolds in moments. While precious, it will be over before you know it. When we miss our moments, we miss our life.
Six Ways Mindfulness Can Support You Through the Holidays
Here are six ways that mindfulness can support living mindfully in each moment, through the holidays and beyond. Keep this list handy as a reminder. You might select one tip as an intention for a holiday gathering, or perhaps choose to do one thing daily:
1. Remember to Breathe! A mindful breath can bring us directly into the present moment. It can be an anchor and help to stabilize the mind and body.
2. Be intentional. Know what brings you a sense of joy and engage with it. If you love looking at lights, take the time and see lights. If you love the smells of winter, take the time and experience smells. If winter walks are your inclination, then practice walking. You can bring awareness to what sustains your body, heart and mind. Anything can be a support for practice!
3. Pause. The pause is a way of stepping out of the automatic pilot mode. It creates space and presence. A purposeful pause can allow the mindfulness that is always available to us to be experienced. It is a way of slowing down and opening to new possibility in each moment.
4. Acknowledge what is actually happening in this very moment. Notice what you are feeling and sensing. Can you allow this experience to be as it is?
5. Practice responding rather than reacting. Before responding, you may ask yourself ‘What is the wisest action for me in this moment?’ ‘Am I responding from a place of anger and hurt?’ Sometimes it is most skillful to simply let things be.
6. Bring kindness to whatever it is that you are experiencing. Sometimes it may be a physical sensation or an emotional feeling, a worry, disappointment, joy or love. No matter what is, try meeting it with acceptance and tenderness. As best you can, let it all be and recognize that others are experiencing their own triggers and reactions. We are not alone in our moments of distress or joy.
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