Mindfulness at Christmas, by Charlotte Saker
When I think of mindfulness I think of ‘living in the moment’. It’s also about meditation, increasing your awareness and watching the world go by. With so much going on over the next week or so it can be particularly hard to stop and just allow yourself to be in the moment, so I thought I’d give it a try.
I’ve had quite a hard and stressful week with loads going on in my personal life, which typically always happens doesn’t it, when you’ve got lots to do to prepare for something such as Christmas. As I drove home in the dark the other night I tried to think about being mindful. I looked at the Christmas lights on people’s houses and really tried to focus on what they looked like, how they made me feel. I tried not to think about all the other things going on and just be in that moment. I found it hard, so I searched around for some tips on being mindful at Christmas, and here are my suggestions:
Go for a short walk: Maybe it is in a town centre or around your neighbourhood. Take an open frame of mind and look around. Pay attention to the different sights, sounds and smells. What has caught your attention? Maybe it’s the red of the holly berries, or the brilliant white of mistletoe. Can you feel rain or breeze on your face?
Be kind to yourself: Have a hot bath, take yourself off for ½ an hour to read a book or flick through a magazine.
10 finger gratitude: I spotted this on the internet and it looked like a good exercise to do. Once a day use your fingers to count up everything you’re grateful for, even if it gets really hard (which after about 4 it does take some hard thinking). It might help you notice the really small previously unnoticed parts of your day.
Dance: I often put this off but dancing is exercise, right? My son loves it when I take time out of the day to dance around the room with him. I turn up the music (Christmas tunes) and just dance. I let go of my inhibitions and am spurred on by the smile on his face.
So, over the next few days why not give living in the moment a go? Maybe it will help us to prolong the best bits about the festive season.