The holidays can be a time of great joy when you make memorable moments with friends and family. However, it's also one of the most stressful parts of the year, and anxiety can ruin the occasion if you don't handle it properly. Fortunately, mindfulness can help you make the most of the festive season by helping you to accept and move past your emotions and embrace the present moment. Consider these suggestions for infusing mindfulness into your holidays:
Stick to Your Meditation Regimen
Things can become hectic during the holiday season – you may be overwhelmed with a multitude of dinner parties and other gatherings, gift shopping and other activities. But it's important to maintain your mental, physical and emotional health during this time of year. That means not skimping on your workout routine, keeping your doctors' appointments and keeping up with your daily meditation techniques.
Mindful meditation is an effective tool for reducing stress, utilizing deep breathing exercises and focused attention – as you concentrate on your current emotions, thoughts and feeling without judging them, you can accept and expel negativity while embracing the moment for the remarkable gift that it is.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
The foods you eat have a great effect on your emotions and how you handle stress. Unfortunately, the holidays are generally associated with overeating, which can lead to shame and guilt in addition to mood issues. Mindful eating is essential for keeping your health on track during this time of year. It involves eating with attention – take notice of and enjoy the foods you consume in regards to the nutritional benefits they have on your body. After all, eating should be about caring for your body and providing it with fuel. A big part of this is eating slowly and without distraction (for example, don't have dinner in front of the television), but it also requires you to be aware of the non-hunger triggers that cause you to turn to food, such as stress or sadness.
Cherish the Moment
A seemingly simple way to incorporate mindfulness into your every day during this season is to embrace every moment. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or dissatisfied, take a deep breath and remember that each moment is a gift. Shake off your expectations, accept your feelings for what they are, and remember that you have endless opportunities in front of you. A few moments of mindful meditation techniques at times of tension can help you gain control of your emotions and find steady ground. You can also put a positive spin on each day by taking five minutes in the mornings to recount the things that you're grateful for: family, friends, health and so on.