Have Yourself a Mindful Little Christmas

If you have read my article about mindfulness, then you know that mindfulness simply involves being present in the moment and processing your thoughts.

Christmas is definitely a time of year that can become hectic and stressful. Among the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to lose control of our thought processes and allow ourselves to fall into a pattern of anxiety and stress.

You can remedy this by slowing down and relishing in the beauty of the holiday. Try these mindful exercises to maintain peace and calm this Christmas:

Christmas Cards and Notes

One of the best ways to maintain positive thoughts this Christmas is to practice a little gratitude. Begin this expression of gratitude by crafting some homemade cards.

As you address each card to a friend or family member, write a meaningful note including mention of a shared memory or some way you are grateful to them.

Reread the message and allow yourself to feel the positive emotions before placing in an envelope.

Random Acts of Kindness

Performing random acts of kindness does not have to be an expensive or grandiose affair. The beauty of random acts is that they are small gestures that have a big impact on others.

Here are some ideas of random acts you can perform this Christmas:

  • Candy Cane Bomb: Buy some small and cheap candy canes and place them on strangers’ windshields. I did this one year and focused my efforts on nursing homes and palliative care homes.
  • Volunteer: One of the most meaningful things you can give is your time. Seek out soup kitchens and shelters that could use a little extra help this Christmas.
  • Donate: Gather some loose change, sell some unwanted items or collect some non-perishable food items and make a donation to a charity or shelter.
  • Cook for Family or Friends: If you have someone in your life that is facing a tough time, cook them some food. Alleviating that extra burden or buying and cooking a meal could have a very positive impact on someone’s life.

Christmas Light Drives

Jump in the car, grab some hot chocolate and crank the Christmas tunes. We’re going for a Christmas light drive!

Nothing will focus your mind on the spirit of Christmas like taking in all the lights, colours and decor the season has to offer. Take to Facebook to find out where the best light displays are and tour your area looking for the brightest houses.

Whether you go it alone or with your family, this can be a great activity for contemplation and stress-relief. Let the magic of colour and lights flood your senses.

Explore the Flavors of the Season

There’s something about the Christmas season that brings out rich flavors and savory foods. Visit different restaurants or experiment with recipes at home to discover your new favorite holiday taste!

As your eat, sip and chew slowly to allow your tastebuds to savor each taste and texture. Explore classic favorites such as apple cider, egg not and gingerbread.

Gather friends and family for a holiday potluck, asking each guest to prepare their favorite or traditional holiday dish.

Experience Your Five Senses

Find a quintessential holiday scene – outside in the snow, in front of the fireplace, by the Christmas tree – and focus on your senses. Ask yourself these questions:

What can I hear?

What can I smell?

What can I taste?

What can I feel?

What can I see?

Give yourself at least 1 minute to reflect on each of your senses. Be sure to practice this mindful activity in a calm and quiet area.

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