Try adding some mindfulness to your daily routine! What is mindfulness? Basically, it's a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present. You achieve it by calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and physical sensations.
Here are a few free tips to help you thrive and survive the holiday season:
- Reach out to someone you trust: Communication is key. If you find yourself feeling less than cheerful reach out to a trusted friend or family member and let them know how you're feeling. Allowing yourself space to talk and be heard is spiritually healing with the added bonus of stress relief.
- Ask yourself...what is my trigger? Is it the expectation of family time? Do you hate the idea of Christmas parties, Santa and gift exchanges? Do you feel lonely? Get honest with yourself about the source.
- Create a new tradition: There is no right or wrong way to enjoy the season. Once you locate the source of your discomfort actively plan activities that give you joy. Are you an outdoors person? Go exploring. Are you an indoor person? Take yourself on a date and treat yourself. Do you prefer peace and quiet? Try out a Yoga class or create a space in your home for relaxing. The point is to create a tradition that works for you! No one is obligated to drink egg nogg and dress up like an elf.
- Spend time with people you enjoy: Are you far from home or consider your freinds to be family? Plan activities with other friends who may be far from home or invite them to a family style dinner. Are you close to home and family? Plan activities that allow you to spend quality time with each other. Did you lose a loved one? Do something in their honor that reminds you of the love and happiness they brought to your life.
- Are there family troubles or difficult relationships? Now is a perfect time to try a small family or friends talking circle. What will a circle do? A circle is a sacred space that allows people to express themselves with complete freedom and no interruptions. Here are the steps:
- 2 hours is perfect for a small, intimate circle.
- Pick a Keeper and talking piece: The keeper will host the circle and pose a theme/questions, open and close the circle.
- Invite the family or friends you'd like to communicate with and share your theme. An example is: Our Circle - This is how I show love! Ask each person to bring one small item that reflects the theme.
- Prepare your space: Choose a neutral, comfy location like a conference room in your local coffee shop or the home of a trusted neutral friend/family. Arrange your seating in a circle so all of you can face each other as equals. Offer tea, water and light snacks. Have soft tissue on hand. Place a small rug or large scarf in the center of your circle and ask each person to put their item on it to create your centerpiece.
- Write 3 simple guidelines to start your circle. 1) Only the person with the talking piece can speak - everyone else is actively listening. 2) Pass the talking piece when done - if you do not want to speak you may pass it along. 3) Keep the conversation confidential.
- Keeper: Open the circle with a reading that reflects the theme. Send one to three questions around the circle starting with an introduction/personal guideline and hopes for the outcome. Close the circle with a summary of what you heard and a reading that reflects the goal (ie. showing love). Thank everyone for coming and sharing their story.
- Note: One circle will not "fix" your issues but it will get the conversation started and leave everyone involved with a deeper understanding and a solid place to build on. All circles are voluntary.
Be gentle with yourself, lose expectations and enjoy the present moment. Make an effort to enjoy the people who show up for you (co-workers, neighbors, friends, lovers, family). You will find if you ease up on yourself you'll naturally be easier on everyone around you.
Love and Blessings,