The end of the year is coming fast, and you know what that means. A busy holiday season, a year-end rush for businesses, and plenty of expectations about a fresh start in a new year.
The holiday season can be an incredible and joyful time, but there are also a lot of pressures. There are social expectations — sometimes even tension — and in a year of financial uncertainty, increased expenses.
How can you face the crazy holiday schedule and the long task list and just enjoy this time of year? Mindfulness is one technique that can help.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a transformative mental practice centered on directing your focus to the present moment. It invites you to fully embrace your thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they unfold, all while letting go of judgment and cultivating a heightened awareness of the here and now. This practice can lead to reduced stress, enhanced emotional well-being, and greater mental clarity.
This insightful article on mindful.org frames mindfulness as less doing and more being. This is especially relevant during a season when we often find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of “doing.”
Give it a try, just 7 minutes at a time.
Mindfulness can help during the holiday season by promoting a greater sense of calm and well-being through techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and self-awareness, allowing individuals to manage stress, stay present in the moment, and engage in more meaningful and enjoyable interactions with loved ones, while also reducing the likelihood of succumbing to the pressures and distractions of the season.
It’s important that mindfulness exercises don’t become just another item on your to-do list; they should make you feel better. Seek out exercises that resonate with you, such as gratitude exercises or breathing meditations. Research has even shown that just seven minutes of mindfulness practice can significantly enhance performance and overall well-being.
Looking to get started? Here are two mindfulness exercises on YouTube that our team likes to use when we need a mental break: