Christmas is a magical time of the year. It’s also easily a busy and stressful time, just because there’s a lot to do, buy and plan. Of course, we love Christmas, which is why this year we’re saying forget the stress and focus on mindfulness. A study by Oxford University researchers found that being mindful reduced stress by up to 40%, so it’s definitely easy to bring mindfulness into your festive preparations.
1. Choose your scents wisely
Candles and diffusers are an essential part of holiday decor. Popular scents contain cinnamon, black pepper, and forest fragrances. But it’s important to choose soothing yet festive fragrances and to take deep breaths while you focus on the scents. Particularly if your preparations are getting stressful (or if a family member is driving you mad!). Diptique’s Sparkling Incense Candle smells like spicy cloves and sweet vanilla. Perfect for taking deep breaths when you’re getting stressed.
2. Do the three step breathing exercise
It’s easy to forget that Christmas is a time to be with your family and friends and actually be present. That’s why it’s important to banish your phone, email, and work activities. It could be something simple as doing a three step breathing exercise.
Step 1: Take a few moments to be aware of what’s happening. Be still and notice any sensations, just be aware of everything and don’t try to change it.
Step 2: Now bring your awareness to your breathing. Follow your breathing all the way in, then all the way out.
Step 3: Now become aware of your whole body, as if your whole body is breathing. This awareness should last all day.
3. Plan festive activities
Part of being immersed, besides banishing your phone and your email, includes actually embracing this time of the year. Go ice skating, put up decorations, make snow angels. The more festive things you do, the more relaxed, chilled and refreshed you will begin to feel. It’s really important to think happy in order to be happy.
4. Book a New Year retreat
Before you go back to work, why not look into a mindfulness retreat or a wellness retreat for the beginning of the New Year. It’ll help you to be refreshed before the start of a New Year and will also give you something to look forward to if Christmas gets a little excessive (and crazy!).
5. Be mindful in your card writing and present wrapping
Writing cards doesn’t have to be as mindless as it seems, neither does wrapping presents. If you take a deep breath and do it slowly it can be a serious stress-reliever. Write your cards slowly, purposefully and try to include some genuine remarks instead of stock greeting card phrases. When wrapping up, don’t get frustrated with the tape and the scissors, find an empty space, put on a chilled Christmas playlist and be happy.
6. Coffee meditation
If you’re struggling to get yourself in the mindful mojo, try some coffee meditation in the morning. It starts with making your coffee, slowly and mindfully, being aware of every part of the process, the smells, sounds, and ingredients. Stop your mind from wandering, bring yourself back to the actions you’re doing. Then, take a slow, small sip of coffee. Let it stay in your mouth and try to notice the taste, temperature, and consistency. Have another sip, bringing yourself into the moment, continue for five minutes until your coffee is finished and then marvel at how grounded you feel!
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