Stay MINDFUL this Holiday Season with these Simple Tips•
Posted on December 20 2018
The holidays are upon us, and it’s a beautiful time to connect with loved ones and enjoy some downtime. It’s also a beautiful time to practice being mindful and aware of ourselves and our surroundings. We hear this buzzword often - “mindfulness.” But how do we actually put it into practice? And why should we?
Mindfulness can facilitate the difference between an impulsive reaction, and a thoughtful response. It allows us to take a moment to pause and consider the present moment a little more deeply than we would otherwise. With this comes a greater sense of understanding and empathy, two qualities that go hand-in-hand with the holiday season.
Read more for our tips on how to practice mindfulness, and how it can elevate your holiday season!
1. JUST BREATHE
Yes -- just breathe! Your breath is always there, always with you, and it can be used as a tool to keep you relaxed, focused and even energized. Whether you are sitting down by yourself in a quiet room, or surrounded by 20 relatives, you can always tap into your breathing. One exercise that is quick, simple and very accessible in any moment is called Box Breathing. Let’s try it together, right now. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, and take a slow and steady inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath at the top for 4, and then fully exhale for a count of 4. Repeat this at least three times, and up to however many times you feel like you need. You will feel a physical response in your body -- it will soften, your chest will relax, and then your mind will follow suit.
2. DO YOGA
However that may look for you. Yoga doesn’t necessarily always mean getting on your mat for 60 to 90 minutes a day; sometimes, it’s just gentle hip stretching while you and your grandpa watch television. Try using Palo Santo to clear the energy of your space before beginning practice, as well as keeping crystals near you when you flow! Yoga asana and stretching lengthens your muscles, stimulates blood flow, and clears energy in your body. As you make your way through the holidays, it’s important to keep your own tank full so you can fully show up for your loved ones. So, don’t over complicate it, and just do what you can, where you are. Your body will thank you!
3. GET OUTSIDE
The crisp air is calling your name! It’s easy to get caught up in the kitchen or at the snack table during the holidays, but taking a few minutes to walk outside has many proven health benefits. Studies show it restores mental and physical energy, relieves stress, improves concentration, reduces inflammation, and so much more. And, you can make it a family affair! Suggest a family walk after dinner, go together to a park, or go on a hike if it’s available to you. Sometimes a change of scenery can make all of the difference!
4. PRACTICE COMPASSION
For others and for yourself. The holidays are a time to enjoy yourself, and enjoy your loved ones! We understand that things can get a little tense, and maybe your sibling snaps at you because they are stressed, and maybe you snap right back. This is a perfect time to pause and actively practice compassion, understanding and kindness. Everyone wants to have a good time, and everyone wants to feel loved. So, forgive your loved ones in those little moments, and forgive yourself too! Try using Affirmation Cards as a reminder of the inner peace that you can tap into at any time.
Unfortunately, it’s usually not all rainbows and sunshine when families get together. Especially in today’s climate, many different people have many strong opinions. This is a wonderful thing! Diversity is an amazing opportunity to learn from each other. So, while you’re great uncle is talking about how he thinks we should fix the economy, take a moment to listen, instead of taking that time to think of your comeback. You may learn something, and see that in the end, everyone only wants what they believe is best for this world. We may disagree on how to go about it, but ultimately, we all want to see prosperity and peace.
Remember Everyone is on their Own Journey. You don’t always have to agree with each other, but whether you are related by blood or by bond, you chose to be together during this season for a reason! Respect everyone else’s journey, and respect your own.
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