The festive season is a chance for many of us to celebrate – spending time with family and friends, parties, food and making plans. Unfortunately, it is also one of the busiest, stressful and most expensive points of the year. Our habits and routines are different, and the weather is cold and dark, making it even more important to focus on mindfulness and avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Here are our top 10 ways to maintain mindfulness over Christmas
Start your day with meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean that you can’t start each day with a relaxing activity that can help centre your mind and create a sense of positivity! Mindful meditation is a highly effective way of being able to be present and aware of the moment we are in. Find out more about our Mindfulness Meditation here: https://wellbeinginyouroffice.com/wellbeing-services/mindfulness-meditation/
Set a clear budget and stick to it. Overspending and accumulating debt during the Christmas season can result in additional stress and anxiety and will have a lasting impact when the credit card statement arrives later. To avoid overspending, set a clear budget. Make sure that your bills are the priority above anything else, then work out what is left. Create a list of every person you need to purchase a present for and the extra food needed and create a spending budget. Search for deals, discounts and 3 for 2 offers on presents, look on places like Facebook Marketplace and eBay for potential gift ideas and check out your local charity stores. Don’t buy fresh food too far in advance to avoid needing to purchase them again if they pass their sell-by date and check out deals at your local supermarket for any discount offers. If possible, purchase your food online and have it delivered to avoid being tempted by items you don’t need. Look out for free activities and events in your local area.
Go outside. Going for a walk in the fresh air can do wonders for our mindset. Even if it just for 30 minutes a day, going for a gentle walk and taking time to be mindful of our environment will help to reduce anxiety, encourage a more positive mood and help us to focus on the rest of the day.
Avoid multitasking. Multitasking often results in three projects being completed at a mediocre level and can even mean that a task has to be redone at a later stage. Work out your tasklist, prioritise and then work through the list in a methodical manner.
Get creative! Take advantage of time off to get creative – bake cookies, make your own Christmas decorations, write, paint, anything that you have been wanting to try but haven’t had the time. By focusing on a project that makes us happy, it allows you to focus on just a single thing at a time.
Try to eat mindfully. Christmas is a time for indulgence, and over-eating large quantities of sugary foods and snacks can leave both the mind and body feeling sluggish and lethargic. Try to make positive choices and eat mindfully – be purposeful by sitting at a table, put the technology down and turn the television off, focus on what you are eating, put your cutlery down in between bites and savour the taste of your food.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can reduce our concentration levels – keep a bottle of water nearby and ensure that you drink at regular intervals. Set an alarm as a reminder!
Set boundaries and limit time with family members who cause distress. The prospect of having to spend time with members of the family where relationships are strained can cause high levels of anxiety and can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Setting very clear boundaries with family is an efficient way of being able to control when and how you are around them. Work out in advance the easiest way of being able to limit time with toxic family members, communicate in advance what your plans are and allow yourself to say no to any other demands and expectations on your time.
Create a gratitude journal. Instead of focusing on what is negative in your day, be mindful of what is positive and record these in a Christmas gratitude journal. Be intentional in what you think about and write down, and take some time to reflect on meaningful things that have brought light to your day.
Take some time for yourself. Christmas is often about others, particularly if you are responsible for a family. Remember that time for yourself, even if it is just a few minutes a day, is just as important as the needs and happiness of everyone else.
Find out more about our Mindfulness Meditation sessions and courses here: https://wellbeinginyouroffice.com/wellbeing-services/mindfulness-meditation/