Mindfulness: How to Stay Present and Enjoy a Peaceful Christmas
Christmas is supposed to be a time of relaxing, unwinding from the work year, and spending time with family and friends. But we can all agree it can be a rather stressful period. What with organising family gatherings, prepping meals, and shopping for gifts, there is a lot to do.
Practicing a mindful Christmas can help curate a calmer, more peaceful festive season. Mindfulness is about being aware and present in the moment. It’s important we stay connected with our feelings and emotions in the moment so we can maximise our enjoyment of Christmas.
We have put together a list of things you can try to practice mindfulness this Christmas season.
Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies by putting pressure on ourselves to deliver the perfect Christmas to our families. Try to be flexible with yourself and allow yourself to have an imperfect Christmas. The Christmas lunch doesn’t have to be served at 1pm on the dot. Setting realistic, flexible goals for yourself will allow you to breathe and enjoy the preparation of festivities.
Take Time for Yourself.
While we may love spending hours and days with our family and friends, it is okay to step away from them every now and then. Schedule in some time for yourself to exercise, read, take a bath, or even catch up on your favourite Netflix show. This will help you recharge your “social battery” so you’re ready to enjoy time with your family again.
With so many others, both friends and celebrities alike, flaunting their Christmas celebrations, it can be easy to get sucked into comparison and competition. Take a moment to appreciate what you do have, who you have, and your privileges. It’s likely that so many others around the world would give anything to be in your shoes. Being grateful for what we do have can reduce our desire for more and let us appreciate the abundance of goodness in our lives.
Let the Music Play.
Whether you love Christmas carols, or would just rather your own music taste, turn on that stereo and play your favourite tunes. Notice how your mood can shift with the rhythm and beat of the songs. Music can truly uplift Christmas activities such as cooking, decorating, or wrapping presents.
Writing down your takes for the day is a great way to visualise your priorities, and ease feeling of overwhelm. Tick them off as you go so you can see your progress. It’s also a great way to minimise the rick of forgetting something and subsequently stressing out.
Enjoy the Sun.
For those in New Zealand, we enjoy a summer Christmas. Make sure you take a moment to appreciate the stunning sunny days of Christmas and notice the improvement of your mood in association to the sunlight. Sunlight can increase serotonin in our bodies, leading to better moods. Just don’t forget sunscreen and a hat!
Connect with your Inner Child.
Watch Christmas movies. Bake cookies and drink hot chocolate. Buy yourself an advent calendar or a gift for the tree. Plan day trips to places you’d love to explore. Enjoy being a big kid again!
Chamberlain, S. (2019). 10 Top Tips for Creating a Mindful Christmas. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-top-tips-creating-mindful-christmas-steve-chamberlain/
Dowle, J. (2018). 7 ways to have a mindful Christmas. Retrieved from: https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/lifestyle/a25398063/mindful-christmas/
Reading, S. (2021). Mindfulness tips for a calmer Christmas. Retrieved from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/mindfulness-christmas