Ways to be mindful over the festive period

When festivities become overwhelming, try these five mindful tips to reclaim some calm

1. Try not to focus on just one day

Our anxieties can heighten during the build-up to a special event, then languish when it’s over too quickly. If you can, try to spread the festivities out over the week. Not only does this make it more enjoyable, but you’ll have time to be mindful of your experiences rather than rushing, and dwelling on the next thing to do.

2. Take mindful walks

Escapism at its finest, relinquish the cabin fever, and breathe in the crisp winter air. Sometimes that change of environment gives a much-needed moment of clarity thanks to the birdsong, crunching of frosted leaves, and the glistening winter sun emitting light and hope. Breathe and observe what’s around you; your mental space comes first.

Illustration | Becky Johnston

3. Make time for yourself

Despite Christmas being portrayed as a family occasion, the festivities are also for you. You deserve time to rest, relax, and indulge. Sit back with a cosy blanket and hot cocoa, peacefully watching things unfold. Take up a spot of reading, crafting, or immerse yourself in festive melodies. It’s OK to slow down and enjoy the little things.

4. Stimulate the senses

When the mind wanders, we tend to withdraw into ourselves, and overlook our surroundings. Sensory prompts can make all the difference, such as twinkling lights to create an atmosphere of tranquillity. Or you could savour every mouthful, and what feelings the flavours evoke. Take a moment to be truly present.

5. Avoid expectations

Everyone does Christmas differently. Just because the conventional dinner is mid-day, doesn’t mean you can’t break from tradition. Accidents happen and things don’t always go to plan – whether it’s overdone roasties, or the kids having an impromptu food-fight with the sprouts – but this isn’t the end of the world. In fact, those unique moments and deviations from the ‘norm’ often create the memories you’ll one day look back on with a giggle.

To learn more about being mindful during the festive period, visit lifecoach-directory.org.uk

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