What we’re about to share with you is a topic that comes at us quicker than (what it feels like) the speed of light every year. It’s the holiday season. To some it’s known as Christmas, to others it’s just another day of the year. Wherever you sit between the two, we hope this blog will leave you with something a little more meaningful than the unwanted wrappers of presents that get tossed away on the afternoon of Christmas Day.
This period of the year is splashed everywhere we look…the shopping windows, on television and social media, even bubbling through people’s stress levels when they’re trying to rush around for that last minute gift. Something changes in the air and it is felt throughout the world and it seems as though the idea of connection, joy or family is slightly pushed down our throats without us even asking for it to be.
So how do you work through such a season when you might be struggling with these exact issues? What do you need to be mindful of? We can give you a list just as long as Santa’s about the do’s and don’ts of the silly season however we just want you to “be”.
Mindfulness is when you’re present in the here and now, being aware and connected to your experience to the fullest and noticing things you may have not before. We often find ourselves on autopilot, multitasking as many things as possible, either worrying about the past or planning the future. This mindlessness keeps us from noticing even the smallest of things that could change our whole day.
Notice that today was a blue sky sunny day (just the way you like it), notice how the rays warm up your body and fill you with energy as you breathe it in. Notice that person walking past you and smiling, notice the urge to smile back, imagine the impact you could have on someone’s day with just a smile, for a moment you and them weren’t invisible. Notice how the year has made you feel, notice what that might be telling you about what you might need, something that might make you feel that tiny bit better…and go do that thing.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be every moment of every day. The smallest and shortest of times can send you onto a completely new trajectory for the day. Aren’t you, even in the slightest, curious where it might lead you?
We can easily get sucked into what we don’t have that we forget to “mindfully notice” the things that we do (see what we did there). Life is a challenge. Every. Single. Day. We are definitely not taking away from that. What we know is that we have a way of exacerbating the negative and discounting the positive, balanced or neutral. In doing so, we are more likely to pull ourselves into a helpless, isolating sadness. We’re not suggesting we focus on unicorns and rainbows (even though both are amazing) as life itself isn’t always positive however try and pick up the things that are going right for you.
The ability to wake up, breathe, see, feel or walk. Things you’re able to enjoy without much effort, maybe a sunrise, the ocean, a storm. The challenges that have shaped who you are today and are your motivation to keep pushing on your journey. The kindness of a stranger, a smile, the door being held open for you, encouraged to go next when ordering something. We take these for granted not realising how very powerful they can actually be. See if you can pay attention to them, be grateful that they’re part of your life and see what the outcome is. Go on, we dare you.
For those of you who have families that you feel safe with, connect with them. For those who have friends, connect to the ones that fill your life with something a little special. For those with a partner, do your favourite thing together. For those alone, connect to your inner self, see them, ask them how they are going, what would they like to do today and how can you help them achieve that. With whom ever you choose to spend the holiday season with doesn’t actually matter just as long as there is some form of connection. Above all remember that you are not alone. Well, not really. For those of you who count down the months, days and minutes until you relish in the experience of the season to those who do the same to get to the other end of it, you…are…not…alone.
There is something so wonderfully unique and special about you! Let this season be about reflecting on what that is.
If you find the above tips are hard to incorporate into your life, Self Reflections Psychology can help you transition to a healthier, happier mindset.
If there is anything you think was important to add into this weeks’ blog that was not included, or if you’d like to share your thoughts on managing the holiday season to encourage others, we’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you all a lovely week and safe season. See you in 2019, from the team at Self Reflections.