Hey everyone, so today’s post is going to be a guest post in this months series over mindfulness. Check out the other two in this series: 5 Ways to Spread Festive Cheer This Christmas and Beat The Busy Christmas Craze With Mindfulness. Please leave a nice comment for this Laura, I’m sure she would really love to hear your feedback. At the end of the post, there will be links to her social media profiles and also her blog.
Mindful living has started to become more mainstream lately and for good reason. Incorporating mindfulness has been shown to have many wonderful mental and physical benefits. But practicing mindful living doesn’t mean you have to suddenly start meditating for hours each day to reap the benefits (unless of course, you want to!). Implementing mindfulness can be as easy as starting to become more aware of what is going on in your day-to-day life and making small changes from there. To help, I’ve come up with 4 ways to incorporate mindfulness this holiday season.
Mindful Eating – Cookies, pie, eggnog….you get the picture. The holidays are often (always) a time where we are surrounded by good food and it can be easy to overindulge. So how do you combat this? Mindful eating. Mindful eating is exactly as it sounds: being aware and present of what and how you are eating. To practice mindful eating, once the food is in your mouth, focus on the taste, the texture, sound, etc. I started doing this when I eat a treat, and it has really helped satisfy my want for that treat (resulting in me eating less of it). The second part of mindful eating worth mentioning is that you can’t feel guilty for indulging. Don’t deprive yourself, just be mindful of what and how you eat!
Photo credit: Ld Nature Photography
Mindful Self – Self-care is important no matter what time of the year it is, but it is especially important during this time of the year. With tons of commitments, shopping, holiday activities, baking, hosting events, spending time with extended family and more, it is no wonder people get so stressed out. If you are someone who finds it difficult to make time for yourself, I would recommend starting with 10 minutes a day, or some other small amount of time. The idea is that the amount of time is so minuscule that it seems ridiculous; so ridiculous that you just do it. Eventually, you start to add on more time, and soon enough, you have worked self-care into your daily routine! I write more about making time for self-care here.
Mindful Schedule – If you constantly feel overwhelmed and like you never get to do the things you want to do, it might be time to reevaluate your schedule. Our culture seems to glorify being busy, and it is starting to affect our mental state of mind. So how do you start to take back your time? Start by scheduling everything. By everything I mean family time, ‘me’/self-care time – whatever is most important to you. Mark it on your calendar, and once it is there, treat it like any other commitment.
Photo credit: Ld Nature Photography
Mindful Mind – Besides making time for self-care (remember to put it on your calendar!), it is important to allow yourself mini mental breaks if you find yourself getting swept up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Even just taking a couple of minutes can have profound effects. Some mental break ideas can include going for a quick walk, getting a glass of water, light stretching, and mini-meditations (check out my 2-minute guided mindfulness meditations with nature photography here). Set a couple of alarms on your phone throughout the day to check in with yourself and see how you are doing/feeling. I call them ‘mindfulness check-ins’. When your alarm goes off, take note of how you are feeling, and react accordingly.
Incorporating these mindfulness tips can help you reduce stress and anxiety, reduce guilt, and help you enjoy the holiday season even more. However, the great thing about these tips is that they are applicable for any time of year.
What are your favorite tips for incorporating mindfulness?