Holiday Mindfulness Thoughts Collection

Many sites have written about why and how to stay mindful during the holidays. For this week’s post I thought I’d save us all some time right at the beginning of the holidays, but still hit on the stress that comes up at this time, with thoughts on mindfulness.  In this compilation are ideas that have been shared previously and that I loved, so you don’t need to search for them. Below are some of these ideas on staying mindful during a time when our normally frenetic lives are that much busier as we fit in more shopping, family, friends and errands.

First off you may be asking what mindfulness is exactly. Much of mindfulness is staying in the present rather than constantly thinking about the future, the past, would could happen, what did happen, etc. Focus on the here and now and enjoy and appreciate it. Maybe it’s an amazing sunset, but maybe it’s a house with particularly pleasant decorations. The last of the fall leaves blowing off the trees in the cool afternoon air!

The first idea on mindfulness really distills down my explanation above to the simplest terms of living in the present. Sabina from Life Skills Resource Group explains mindfulness on her site in a way that struck me as so easy yet, so true.

Are you “Mind Full” or “Mindful”?

The later is a much more pleasant place to be and will allow you to enjoy the holidays so much more!

So what are some of the techniques you can use to help you along the way?

The folks at MBG (Mind Body Green) came up with an excellent list that you can check out in the available link, or see some of the highlights of their suggestions that I’ve added just below.

  • Many of us just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, you know the one where we generally eat too much and in the rush to shop, make food, travel, visit, and enjoy time with friends and relatives, so we forget to actually be thankful. Take a minute to think about what you are thankful for (you can do this while meditating too). Not just the generic canned responses when the idea goes around the table. Think ofmore than 1 or two and feel gratitude.
  • Remember to enjoy the holidays. Focus less on the stress of them, and power your way through them by walking into most situations with a different mindset. No need to run from store to store. If you need to stand in line, use that time to be thoughtful about your gift buying. Know (better) what you are going to purchase and stress less when you are in the fray. Do some research ahead of time and buy online or know exactly where you are going.
  • Breathe and take in the moment. If you do get stressed out, calmly breathe in and more slowly and consciously let your body exhale. By making your exhale longer than the inhale it reduces your heart rate which tends to have a calming effect.
  • Hydrate! Sometimes we can get focused on the sugary holiday drinks like cider and hot cocoa or alcoholic drinks like spiked cider and many other libations! Enjoy some of these, but remember to stay hydrated and don’t over indulge. You’ll have more energy and feel better for it.
  • Don’t forget to unplug occasionally. This is key to letting your mind rest, and the sleep you do does not count the same way! For more about the importance of taking a few minutes to yourself, read my blog post “Reduce Stress and Relax for 2 minutes a Day”.

For more great tips on making your holidays easier and more enjoyable, check out the MBG site at:

Thanks and happy holidays everyone!