It can be all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. To help combat the stress, we have created a guide to help you slow down and savor every moment, so you can enjoy what is truly important: spending time with those you love. Read on to discover seven tips to incorporate mindfulness into your holidays this year.
1.Practice mindful eating. One way to prevent overeating is to put your fork down between bites so you eat slowly and savor everything you taste. Listen to your body. Remember to enjoy the moment, be present and breathe. It takes several minutes for your body to know it’s full, so stop eating before you feel like a stuffed turkey.
Try practicing the ABCDEs of mindful eating:
- Ask: Why am I eating now? What am I eating? What am I doing that may be distracting?
- Be grateful.
- Chew slowly.
- Dine and savor the flavors.
- Engage yourself in the present moment.
2. Combat holiday stress with gratitude. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take that as your body’s cue to tell you that you need to take a step back. Gratitude can help alleviate stress and improve overall wellness, so take note of everything you appreciate during the season.
3. Don’t get caught in the trap of perfection. Many people feel pressure to create the “perfect” holiday for their family. Instead of getting caught up in this, try donating your time to help those less fortunate. The holidays are a great time to practice compassion and give with your time, smiles and emotional support. Plus, perfection is not attainable, so it is important to let go of that expectation to fully enjoy and appreciate the experiences you do have.
4. Let go of judgement of yourself and others. The holidays are a reminder to be empathetic toward others and yourself. Try being observant and receptive to family, friends and even strangers – to increase your ability to connect. Observe how you are feeling during this season and be open to communication.
5. Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice — really notice — what you’re sensing in a given moment, e.g., the sights, sounds and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness.
6. Be gentle with yourself. Recognize that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you. This is an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns.
7. Do something you love, such as stepping outside. It will help you find and enjoy the details in the festivities when you return.
“8 Mindfulness Tips During the Holidays,” Marlynn Wei, M.D., J.D., psychologytoday.com, Dec. 13, 2016.
“5 Mindful Tips for Navigating Holiday Stress,” Jennifer Wolkin, mindful.org, Dec. 7, 2016.