Take a deep breath and stop stressing out! It’s time to think about the many ways you can change your thinking to find peace and joy by becoming more mindful during the holiday season.
The holidays are often described as a cheerful and joyful time of year, but they can also be very stressful. Visiting relatives, hosting holiday gatherings, and the financial obligations can be exhausting. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to keep mindful during the holidays to let go of unnecessary stressors and try to live in the moment.
Mindfulness sounds much more complicated than it really is. It is simply the practice of being completely aware and present at the moment. It’s a form of self-care that has been around for decades but has only recently grown in popularity in the mainstream culture.
According to Psychology Today, studies have shown that mindfulness can make you feel happier, healthier, and less stressed out by focusing on the present moment with an open mind. While it has year-round advantages, practicing mindfulness during the bustling holiday season can be very beneficial.
We all know the holidays can be quite challenging. There is often much to do and little extra time with which to do it. Many folks struggle not only with finding extra time but also with finding extra money. The season can get expensive when trying to figure out how to pay for gifts, parties, and traveling. The reality is even if you work hard at making everything perfect, things don’t always go as planned and the holidays can end up not meeting your expectations.
Talk about a downer!
How can mindfulness help you deal with all that so you can find joy this holiday season?
Accept the moment
We might not always be able to make the perfect Christmas dinner or buy the kids everything they want, but this is about forgetting perfection and enjoying what you’re doing – being with family and friends and showing them your gratitude. This is a time of joy and celebration and every moment you live is a gift.
Taking a mindful pause is one of the best things you can do during the hectic craziness of the holidays. Not only will it make you feel less frenzied, but it can also help you to create more space for thinking and reflection.
If the only thing that occupies your mind during the holiday season is what you need to do next, then you’re in danger of not remembering much about it at all. Don’t miss out on making memories because you were too busy.
How To Be Mindful This Holiday Season
None of us know what the holidays have in store for us. Whatever it may be, be more mindful during this time of year by practicing some simple techniques and mindset shifts that allow you to enjoy every moment.
Don’t wait until the holidays are upon you to begin practicing mindfulness, start now. You can get the ball rolling by focusing upon what you are doing at any given moment. Take in the quiet serenity of your morning walk or sit back and enjoy your family gathered at the dinner table – just reflect on what you are feeling in that exact moment.
Mindfulness is all about letting go of judgment and guilt. Not just towards others, but yourself as well. Practicing mindfulness teaches us to release the shame that often accompanies our own mistakes or poor judgment. Don’t concern yourself with negative thought patterns or how others are experiencing the holiday (is the food good enough? Do they like their gift? Are my decorations nice enough?) as it will make it difficult to be present and enjoy the moment.
The holiday season can be full of frustrations. It can be a time of utter chaos and craziness, making it easy to feel aggravated. Instead of becoming cranky, try to see things from another light. Thank the people around you for their efforts. Be grateful for the little things in life. It will create a more positive, meaningful, and mindful holiday season.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations for the holidays. It’s fine to have standards, but don’t try for perfection. Be sensible in what you are expecting. If your uncle and brother don’t agree to get along normally, that’s probably not going to change just because it is Christmas Eve. If Aunt Ruth burns the pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, be ready to go with the flow. In other words, don’t expect the holidays to be like a Norman Rockwell painting.
Mindfulness is all about being actively aware of what’s happening around you. Taking a pause can help you more easily understand your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Don’t get caught up in worrying about all that needs to be done or what isn’t just right during the holidays. If you find your mind drifting off instead of enjoying time with your friends and family, take a slow, deep breath, and bring yourself back to this moment.
Focus on living the current moment and not the big picture. It’s not about creating a picture-perfect holiday, but about each small moment that will make your holiday season memorable.
The fast-paced hustle and bustle can take away a lot of the joy of the season, no matter which holidays you celebrate. Mindfulness is a great way of letting go of unnecessary stress and living more in the moment, allowing you to truly appreciate each minute of time you are given throughout the holidays so that you finally enjoy yourself again.