Mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of our speech and actions, listen without judgment, and be present in the moment. Also, realizing when you are being reactive and are overwhelmed in stressful situations. Practicing mindfulness can be difficult, especially with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The concept may seem simple, but amongst holiday stress it can be challenging to practice mindfulness daily.
However, with a few simple tips, mindfulness can improve relationships, reduce internal stress and anxiety, and increase empathy. Here are 5 steps to help you practice mindfulness this season.
1. Practice active listening and be fully present.
It can be easier to tune out the “noise,”, especially during family or work gatherings. Try to put away all distractions like your phone, turn down the TV, and keep the music at a level where people can engage. Actively listen to people and engage in a conversation with them. You may learn something you never knew and connect with your colleagues, friends, or family a bit deeper.
2. Try to let go of unhealthy emotional and physical habits.
Holidays are full of traditions and bad habits we carry over year after year. Take notice of what feelings are present and acknowledge what sets you off or causes you to detour from your routine. Identify those emotions that come up from past experiences, take a deep breath and stay present when you feel them resurfacing. Set a daily practice for yourself; this could be a breathing practice, a restorative pilates series or why not check out one of the meditations on our Pilates app? By incorporating physical practice into your daily routine, you can use those tools to help process your emotions and incorporate a healthy physical habit into your routine.
3. Let go of judgment of yourself and others.
Holiday gatherings with family can bring up feelings of judgment and self-criticism. Try not to bring up past failures or arguments during a family gathering, and let this season be a chance for new experiences. Also, don’t be hard on yourself or let others bring you down. You have been working hard all year. If you didn’t reach a personal goal you set for work, fitness, or health and wellness, don’t give up. You probably made more progress than you think you did, and the new year will bring on new beginnings.
4. Set positive intentions
The holidays can be overwhelming and stressful, which brings on negative feelings toward the season. Set aside some time for yourself to set positive intentions. Stick to your routine as much as you can, and check out our tips on Shaping up for the Holiday Season. You also might want to set the intention to turn into your Pilates practice with Dynamic Pilates’ Brand New Razzle Dazzle Series to keep your fitness routine in check and get started with those New Year’s goals.
5. Create a balance between what you should do with what you need to do
It is easy to blur the line of what is important vs. optional, so don’t feel pressured to attend every holiday event or be the hostess with the most. Figure out what is most important to you and commit to those first. If you try to attend everything you will head straight into the holiday season burnout . If you find yourself going there, slow down and give yourself a reset.