Tips to Maintain Mindfulness During The Holidays
The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people. The stress of the holidays, family get-togethers and special occasions can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. It is important to take care of yourself during this busy time so you don't feel burnt out by January 1st! Here are 4 tips to maintain mindfulness during the holidays:
1. Ground yourself with a regular yoga practice
A regular yoga practice will help ground you and bring your awareness back to the present moment.
Be sure that when practicing yoga, you are not pushing yourself beyond what feels good for your body. Yoga can be done pretty much anywhere if you have a mat! Even just doing some light yoga moves at home in front of the tree can help you reduce the stress of the holiday season.
2. Practice mindful eating at holiday gatherings
Holiday gatherings are full of rich, delicious food, and it can be easy to over-indulge. Mindful eating can help you enjoy your food, and avoid the post-meal slump.
Eat slowly and pay attention to the flavors, textures and aromas of your food. Be aware of how full you are getting as well as checking in with any emotions that arise while eating. Are they positive or negative? Does it feel good to eat this specific food right now? Eating mindfully can help people avoid overeating and it can also help them feel more connected to their food and body.
3. Practice deep breathing, especially if you feel overwhelmed or stressed
During stressful times, try reconnecting to your body with box breathing. Box breathing is done by taking four deep breaths (in for five seconds, hold for one second and out again for five seconds). The steps are repeated in a box pattern: In-out-hold-out. This helps calm the nervous system so you can think more clearly about how to respond instead of reacting automatically from fear or stress.
4. Give yourself some grace!
It is important to remember that you are human and sometimes it may be hard for you to practice all of the above. Remember that no one has their holiday season together! If something comes up, accept where you're at in this moment and try again next time. And if things don't go exactly how you planned (which they rarely do), you can always improvise and adapt.
There is no such thing as a perfect holiday season, so don't expect yourself to be perfect either!