Mindful Indulgence & Self-Care for the Holiday Season
With the holiday season just a few months away, I am inviting you to set an intention that may be different from prior years. The challenges and restrictions caused by the pandemic give us an opportunity to re-think how we treat ourselves and others, how we connect, how we celebrate, how we eat - not just this holiday season, but going forward into a new year.
With so many things out of our control, we can still choose how to embrace and live each day. I recommend “bookending” your day: Start your morning by setting an intention for the day, i.e.: “May I be kind and gentle with myself and others.”, “May I nourish myself well.”, “May I give myself permission to let go of perfectionism.” “May I bring mindful awareness to everything I do.”
At night before you go to bed, make a mental list or journal about what you are grateful for and what went well that day. Do this for a month and notice the shift in your wellbeing.
Also, instead of ruminating about the past (which may cause feelings of depression), or tensing about the future (which may cause anxiety), focus on being fully present, moment by moment. The biggest gift you can give yourself and others is your presence - truly listening and paying attention. So, instead of worrying about which expensive gifts to purchase this year, decide to give the gift of your presence and your full and open heart.
Another tip for deepening mindfulness is to unplug from all electronics during family gatherings. Start a new trend: Suggest that everyone bring a short story or poem to share. Make it special. Make it meaningful. Sitting “in circle” and story-telling near a fire are beautiful ancient traditions. Try something different this holiday season!
Instead of worrying about overeating and gaining pounds this holiday season, set an intention to slow down and bring mindfulness to the table. The more we allow yourselves to take breaks and to let go of expectations the easier life flows. Start building in “reliable periods of restoration” throughout the day, plan for down time, allow yourself to take care of YOU. After all, self-care and kindness starts with us. Also, don’t avoid your favorite foods or snacks. Instead, plan for a “mindful indulgence” and truly enjoy and savor each bite.
In order to practice relaxing the mind, try one of the following meditation Apps: Headspace, UCLA Mindful or CALM. Start by meditation 1-3 minutes a day and then increase.
May be the motto or slogan for the coming months is: “Go slow, eat mindfully, be present and love well.”
Wishing you good health, inner peace and much joy!
From my heart to yours,