“When you’re feeling frazzled, put all of your attention on the breath. It’s a portal into the present moment, the best remedy for stress.”— Ellen Barrett
The holiday season is a joyous time with festive decorations, delicious feasts with friends and family, and a time to spread love and cheer. At times, it can be a bit stressful, taking away the joy and magic of the season. As the days inch closer to the family gatherings, the anxiety inside your mind may be creating tension from the past or telling us stories we tell ourselves about how it’ll go visiting family.
Holiday celebrations are about joy, love, and spending time with people you love. Setting aside some quality time for self-love and practicing mindfulness to be present and help put your mind at ease is important. Allow your breath to be your anchor in times of stress and anxiety.
The holiday season can be a fruitful time to practice mindfulness and create loving habits for your mind, body, and spirit. There are many wonderful benefits to practicing mindfulness. Some of those benefits are:
- Reduced inner stress and anxiety
- Increase in empathy
- Reduce stress in relationships
- Bring awareness to what is happening at the moment
- Compassionate and love for you and your loved ones
We are going to dive into some mindfulness practices to help you stay present and develop new tools to keep your stress and anxiety low and your love vibration high.
How To Practice Mindfulness?
Check In With Yourself
As you arrive at the holiday party or bounce around to different gatherings, take about five to ten minutes to check in with yourself mentally and physically. Channel and harness the loving energy inside you.
Close your eyes and focus on counting your breaths (4 seconds inhale; hold for 2; 6 seconds exhale with your tongue at the roof of your mouth; hold for two and repeat).
This calms your nervous system and alerts the mind and body to relax. After a few repetitions of breathing, set an intention on how you want to feel and how long you wish to stay. This can connect your mind, body, and spirit with confidence, positive vibes, and a boost of well-being.
Set the alarm on your phone at a low volume, when the alarm goes off, check in with yourself, do a series of deep breathing (see above). Reset your nervous system and upgrade your nervous system. This helps you to stay present, calm and focused throughout your day.
In addition, setting reminders on your phone to check in emotionally is a strong mindfulness practice prioritizing your needs without sacrifice. Take time to process your emotions and understand what may be upsetting you at the moment. Allow yourself time to take a breath and make heartfelt decisions.
Setting boundaries is an effective way to protect your mental health and gain a boost in self-confidence. Setting boundaries helps you feel less anger and resentment and more at peace with yourself.
The difficulty of setting boundaries is finding the courage to do it. We tend to hold ourselves back from meeting our needs because we worry about other people’s reactions or feelings.
When setting your boundaries, you can keep these three things in mind:
- Start with positivity
- Speak in a calm, simple, and direct way
- Say “no.” You do not need to over explain or think of an excuse. You can say “no” or say, “no, that doesn’t work for me.”
Boundaries can seem difficult at first, but they can help you maintain the positive energy from the intentions you set. Learning to say “no” or bring up a conversation about boundaries can bring more love to your heart when it is done from your heart.
You are a strong, divine, and beautiful human!
One of the best things you can do is take time for yourself outside (weather permitting). If you live in a cool to warm climate, go on a walk without any distractions and embrace the beauty around you.
It is vital for your mind, body, and spirit to connect to nature. This helps refuel our emotional and physical batteries. Spend time doing what you love for yourself. Just because the holidays are upon you doesn’t mean you can’t show yourself love and appreciation.
Unplugging from technology provides us the space to spend time reconnecting with our loved ones.
This can be a great time to reflect on the year, show gratitude for how far you’ve come, and think about what you’re grateful for. This is an excellent mindfulness practice as it will shine a light on your heart space and make you feel happier and more positive.
Practicing gratitude can also give you an indication of who you want to prioritize spending your time with. Who reciprocates that loving energy?
Going back to your breath being your anchor, practicing ten minutes of meditation will naturally lower your stress levels and help you be present this holiday season.
“Meditation helps you develop the skills to sit with your mind as it is rather than try and force change on the external forces around you,” says Dr. Megan Jones Belle.
In meditation, you can understand the stories your mind may tell you. Sitting with the feelings helps you understand why you feel that way and let go of those stories. When we learn to understand why we feel the way we do, we start showing compassion to ourselves and others.
Some apps, such as Headspace and Insight Timer, have quick and mindful meditations to prepare you for a happier and loving holiday season.
In the end, what is most important is being kind and compassionate towards yourself, your thoughts, and the loved ones you spend your holiday with.
‘Tis the season of joy and love. From Hadobody, we wish you a happy and mindful holiday.
With Love and Light!
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