With the holiday season fast approaching, your excitement is likely rising. Unfortunately, that excitement is almost always accompanied by an abundance of stress. Over the years, people seemed to have forgotten the true meaning of the holidays. Everyone is running around shopping centers like some crazed chickens eager to max out their credit cards, without every thinking beyond the presents.
It’s important to take some time during this crazy, busy, hectic and often, expensive holiday season to treat yourself to some gratitude and mindfulness.
The first step to staying mindful during the holiday season is to forget about all the other nonsense. The most important part of Christmas is the connection you have with others. So, make it your goal to give the gift of being attentive and receptive to those you love. The connection that follows will be more than enough to keep you mindful for the rest of the season.
While we all like to think the holiday season is a time of happiness and joy, there’s no denying that it can also be an incredibly difficult, followed with more pain than presence. Aside from the winter depression that you know is coming, the holiday season can be really lonely. It’s a time where reminders of loss and grief are prominent, and dealing with the emotions that follow can be paralyzing, especially in a society where everyone is telling you that you’re supposed to be flawlessly happy. That’s also not to mention that you’re being tricked into thinking everyone else is happy and jolly during this holiday season. However, that’s simply not accurate.
More importantly, there’s nothing wrong with not being jolly around this time of year. So, be accepting of the holiday feelings – both the good and the bad. Give yourself the gift of space and feel whatever your mind, body and spirit is wanting you to feel.
‘Tis the season for traditions… Or so they say. While traditions are great, they aren’t always positive. So, if you feel the pressure to keep up with traditions and memories that trigger negative emotions and energies, let this season be the time where you finally break out of those bad moments. If you’ve been “blessed” with a Godzilla of a mother-in-law, can’t handle the tension surrounding your family’s dinner table or don’t want to spend any more time with your co-workers than you have to, start saying no. This is your holiday season just as much as it is anyone else’s and you deserve to celebrate with happiness, mindfulness and joy. And if that means cutting old habits, traditions or ending bad habits, so be it.
During a time where connection and love are supposed to be the two most important things, it seems that these are the two things the season lacks the most. Everyone is so busy; busy trying to get to every dinner party, to finish their holiday shopping, to get in overtime to pay for their exploding credit card bill, and basically, too tired to connect and communicate. While you can’t change others, you can change you and the way in which you appreciate the season. So, make it your mission to go the extra mile this holiday season when it comes to communication. Take the time to send real Christmas cards – you know, the kind that go in the real mail instead of people’s inboxes, and more importantly, let your gifts communicate a message that means the most, which leads us into the next topic…
Brand name this, luxury that, diamonds this, and expensive that. The holiday season seems to be much more about presents than presence and it’s a darn shame. However, you’re likely not going to change that overnight. So, all you can do is accept the season for what it is and translate it into something that works for you – and the first place to start is with the presents.
Instead of wrapping up some materialistic gifts that will lose novelty after the first week, make it your mission to wrap gifts with meaning. Let your gifts communicate feeling, mindfulness and emotion to those you love the most. Of course, mala beads are the perfect way to do just that and as a bonus, they’re gifts that keep giving – and gifts that have beauty that goes beyond what meets the eye.
The last thing to remember as you head into the hectic holiday season is to be aware of your own personal needs. It’s so easy to be consumed with all the nonsense of the modern world and while you can’t avoid holiday obligations altogether, it is important to balance them with your own needs. Pair that totally-undesirable dinner party with a spa treatment or hours dining around a tense dinner table with some deep meditation. The key to staying mindful all year round is balance.
So, turn down the holiday tunes, light up the Christmas tree, grab your mala beads and channel your inner peace with these awesome tips for staying mindful during the holiday season. It’s the perfect recipe for a mindfulness season – and a mindfulness season that no one can take away from you.