|Posted on December 3, 2014 at 10:05 PM|
Last month I had the privilege and pleasure of co-leading a workshop with my friend and talented practitioner Dr. Meggie Smith at Chiropractic First. We wanted to share the message that while the holiday season comes with inherent challenges and stresses, there is a dual approach that we can take to sink into what is present and joyful as well. That is, while our nervous system is wired to take in threats and perceive stress around us, we can both acknowlege the reality of those challenges and also experience what is joyful and pleasant. Mindfulness practices can help bring awareness to what is present around us. Gratitude can cultivate a sense of appreciation and openheartedness for what is also inherently joyful during this time of year. Here are a few additional tidbits from our workshop that I thought would be worth sharing!
Five TIPS for using Mindfulness During the Holiday Season
1. This time of year can promote wanting, striving, and immediate gratification that can cause us to lose sight on what the season has to offer us. Mindfully embrace the holiday spirit by recognizing the principles of giving, being thankful, and reflection of the past year.
2. If demands create a sense of exhaustion or feeling "spent" use your mindful practices and self-care strategies to draw your attention to a sense of being. Focus on connection, celebration, and being with others rather than doing tasks or checking things off your list.
3. Cultivate a sense of compassion for yourself and others. The demands and expectations of the holidays can cause stress - and it's okay! Cut yourself, and others, a break and offer a compassionate message when things feel out of control. Breathe and say "May I be well and calm in this moment", "I am doing my very best and that is all that matters right now", "May my family experience joy and love in this moment".
4. We have a tendency to be stuck in past memories, stressed about the current situation, and worried about the future. Accept things for how they are and release attachment to expectations, fears, and "shoulds". Notice what is present in the here and now.
5. Approach the season with a sense of curiosity and openness. See, hear, taste things as if it's your first time! Take in the sensory experiences, savor and enjoy them.