The holidays are one of the most important times in the year to practice mindfulness. During this time, many find themselves out of their normal day-to-day routine, inundated with shopping stress, end-of-year deadlines, and more family time than usual. All of these holiday situations, particularly our approach to family members, requires mindfulness.
First and foremost, it's important to recognize that the holidays can be a trying time. Old conflicts may arise, and new family dynamics can be uncomfortable. Regardless of the situation, practice mindfulness in order to be present, receptive and compassionate to others.
These are some of the ways we plan on being mindful this holiday - what would you add to the list?
1. Focus on breath when feeling uncentered.
2. Actively listen to others. As the dinner table gets busy, don't check out - choose one conversation to participate in and focus on it.
3. Show your family members that you care by giving them something other than physical gifts. Carve out extra time to spend with them, or have an in-depth conversation.
4. Be attentive and open minded. Even if you don't agree with something that is said, how can you show that person that you hear and respect them?
5. Let go of judgement for yourself and others.
6. In order to take care of others, you must take care of yourself first.
7. Practice appreciation. When you take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the small things, you are actively making an effort to stay present and mindful.