For myself, and those who I assist through my work, the practice of mindfulness has become a key coping tool for navigating the stressful holiday landscape. Mindfulness allows us to be present in the moment so we can appreciate the many blessings of the season. Use mindfulness in these 5 ways to help reduce stress and increase joy during the holidays:
1. Find balance. Through practicing mindfulness we can rediscover our balance point, that place where we acknowledge that it's okay not to have a perfect holiday party or the perfect gifts. Mindfulness centers us and keeps us from expending energy unwisely.
2. Redefine priorities. Instead of filling every available moment with the busyness of the season, mindfulness helps us focus on how we are prioritizing our time. Can we cut out some of the fluff to make room for what really brings joy?
3. Acknowledge emotions. It's easy to ignore our own feelings during the holiday craziness. Mindful attention to your present emotional state can help us take a pause and spend some time processing and healing.
4. Be kind to yourself. Mindfulness helps us remember our own emotional needs. Being in the now allows you to reassess if you have been taking care of yourself amid all the hustle and bustle. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising?
5. Let go of negative emotions. Sometimes we are unaware of how annoyed we are feeling while shopping, driving, or wrapping gifts. When we stop and acknowledge our negative emotions we can make a conscious effort to toss them out.By Marissa Katrin Maldonado, Founder, The Treatment Specialist an online resource for information on mental health conditions and treatment options.