Whole for the Holidays
Five Mindful Ways to Stay Sane this Month!
Posted Dec 07, 2016
The holidays are a mixed bag. Moments of joy interlace with the pain of loved ones we’ve lost, a mad dash to finish year-end work, non-stop gift-buying, and seeing relatives we may not particularly like. As a result, we may end up exhausted, broke, and anything but whole.
Mindfulness is the process of becoming aware of each moment with a curious, nonjudgmental attitude and then responding to it with compassion. Over 25 years of scientific research shows that mindfulness reduces stress and boosts the immune system – all while making you happier!
You can practice this revolutionary skill in the following time-tested ways this holiday season. For maximum results, aim for about 20-30 minutes a day (they need not be consecutive). The trick is to gently keep bringing your awareness back to the activity at hand whenever it wanders. Redirecting yourself back isn’t an obstacle to the practice; it is the practice.
1. Sit in a quiet place and slowly inhale seasonal aromatherapy blends such as cinnamon and peppermint (or consider other varieties of your favorite essential oils).
2. Volunteer for an organization where you do or make something for its clients. Some examples include cooking for a soup kitchen or crotcheting winter gear.
3. Immerse yourself in some hilarious holiday satire like David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
4. Find a peaceful spot where you can sit and slowly sip your favorite warm beverage. Bring your awareness to the taste and sensation of the liquid warming your insides. Hot chocolate or apple cider work particularly well for this.
5. Stroll around your neighborhood at night with someone you know and take in the festive decorations.
Remember, it’s not so much what you do as the mindful way in which you do it. The greatest present you can give yourself this holiday season is the present itself.
Drawing on over ten years of experience, Nick’s professional development courses, webinars, and presentations have enabled hundreds of clients to align mindfulness practices with their skills and interests. Nick holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University where he won The Billings Prize for inspiring behavioral change through positive humor. He is an avid speaker and writer through The Atlantic, WABC Radio, Yale University, New York University, The Milken Scholars Program, Share Fair Nation, The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, The George Jackson Academy, Toastmasters International, and as the Research Chairman for The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.
To inquire about Nick’s services, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.