It has been a long year and most of us can’t wait to disconnect. And although it is important to take some time for yourself – whether it is taking a long walk alone or some time out to pray or meditate, being present with your loved ones is also important. When spending time with family and friends be present. Try not to dwell in the past or the future, but rather concentrate on being here and now. Put away your telephone, tablet, laptop and be in the moment this Christmas.
Take some time out to breath. Make a conscious decision to learn one new breathing technique this festive season. The internet is full of them.
Pause and savour (Eat mindfully)
The Chinese saying, ‘The feast is in the first bite’ describes the concept of pausing very well. Just before you dig into your Christmas meal this year take a moment to pause and look at, smell, taste, and enjoy that first sip of wine, champagne, or bite. Take a moment to appreciate what you are about to enjoy. Perhaps invite your loved ones to join you in eating a little more mindfully. Encourage them to share how the food tastes and what they are enjoying most.
Take a moment to appreciate and write a gratitude-note
Take a few moments to yourself and list three people to whom your grateful. Then think about why you are grateful towards them. Be specific in your answers. Why not write them a note, email or WhatsApp thanking them for their support during this challenging year.
Turn chores into togetherness
Repeat after me, ‘I don’t have to do everything on my own’ and ‘Everything doesn’t have to be perfect’. These are my mantras for this festive season. Delegation and managing expectations are two skills that will help you not only survive, but actually enjoy, the festive season. Buying less, making more, and sharing the preparations can turn chores into togetherness. And isn’t that what the festive season is all about.
Small acts of kindness
One can easily get swept up in the consumerism of the festive season and forget that Christmas is about love, grace and kindness. A small act of kindness not only makes a difference in someone’s life, but has the capacity to remind us what the season is all about. It can be anything from buying a meal for a homeless person, spoiling a neighbour with home-made cookies, to sharing a smile with a stranger when queuing in a store. It’s not what you do, but rather the spirit in which you do it. Don’t expect anything in return, not even a thank you.
Remember it’s more in the HOW, than in the WHAT
The older I get the more I appreciate traditions and rituals. With a toddler in our home my husband and I have started thinking about the traditions and rituals from our childhood, and which of them we would like to rediscover and rekindle. For as long as I can remember my Nanna made a trifle for Christmas. So I have decided to try my hand a trifle this year. We are also creating a few traditions and rituals of our own. I would love to hear about your Christmas traditions and rituals. Please feel free to share.
I hope these few ideas help you to enjoy a festive season full of fun, wellness, and happy days.