Even though the holiday season is supposed to be a joyful time, we can create the opposite by letting bad habits creep in. This is where the concept of mindfulness comes in. A conscious state-of-mind; it is taking the time to stop and observe, to really feel and listen and see what is around you. Mindfulness, especially vital during the holiday season, means allowing yourself to get immersed in an experience or memorable moment and reflecting on them. It is turning unnecessary distractions off and thoughtfulness on.
Here are our favorite ways to maintain mindfulness during the holiday months:
1 Keep it simple
Have a holiday without a checklist. Over-scheduling yourself defeats the point of being out-of-office; simplicity is key. We can all be a little OCD at times, and love a good, long list, but now is the time to make an effort and leave 50% of the holidays unscheduled (only making a couple of concrete plans or reservations that book out). Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy the white space in your day. And maybe even outside of your window.
2 Listen to your body
If you’re used to setting an alarm every day, eating your meals at the same time, and staying on a set routine, now is the time to let it all go. Over time, your body becomes adapted to your routine, so it might feel different to tune into its natural rhythm at first, but you may find it beneficial if you give it a try. While home for the holidays skip the alarm, eat meals when you actually felt hungry (maybe you want to give intermittent fasting a try?) and go to bed when you feel tired. Do you, whatever that feels like.
3 Treat yourself
There is no better time to be kind and generous to yourself than when you’re out of the office or using last-minute PTO to hone in on the spirit of the season. Whatever makes you chill out and cheerful, now is the time to take advantage. Curl up with your gratitude journal, invite friends over to sip on festive cocktails, take the time off to indulge in a self-care activity (massage anyone?), or enjoy all of the above.
4 Digitally disconnect
Don’t you just love that moment when the plane is taking off, and suddenly you’re disconnected from the digital world? It’s time to do whatever you like – listen to a podcast, read, journal down your thoughts and ideas, or take a nap. Small acts like keeping your phone at bay when you’re wrapping gifts or reading a book instead of scrolling, may result in you finding yourself being more present and in the moment. You may even find yourself initiating some of these habits into your everyday life post-holiday.
Whether it’s de-stressing or creating change in your life, use this holiday season to practice and increase your mindfulness. And, have a holly, jolly good time in the process.