Christmas is just a few days away, but after 3 hours shopping for all my family and friends I’m frazzled. Where is my mindfulness practice?
I know that the trainings say that mindfulness is all about losing it and getting it, but sometimes I just feel I’ve really lost it!
Keeping our practice alive at Christmas can be a real challenge. Gratitude, pausing and savouring are great ways to keep us on track. Here are 5 Great Tips for a Mindful Christmas.
- The Sound of Music
Take the opportunity with Christmas Carols and festive muzak around, to take time out to listen and give all your attention to one or two favourite songs or pieces of music that speak to your heart. See if you can fully focus on the sounds and the physical feelings. You might discover layers of sound -or layers of you-you didn’t realise were there. Be present to the resonances in the music.
- Find your refuge of calm
Connect for 10 minutes into a refuge of calm. Stop. This could be in your car parked out in the carpark, a cosy window-seat, lying on the floor for a 10 minute bodyscan or even a mindful walk. Respect your need for topping up moments of sanctuary.
- Seasonal Scents
Enjoy the seasonal smells as you are cooking in the kitchen, shopping or walking in nature. We often take our sense of smell for granted – be mindful of all those astonishing fragrances at this time of year – from rich, spicy mince-pies to pine cones, spiced oranges, cinnamon and cloves. Savour the scents!
- Gratitude practice
There is so much to be appreciative of at this time of year. Having hearth and home, being healthy, meeting up with friends and family, plentiful food and beautiful surroundings; the list is endless. Say it to others, say it to yourself or write it down: Thank you!
- Mindful breathing
Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into and out of that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air in, then let it out, like a balloon inflating and deflating. With every long, slow exhalation, deepen into the feeling and let go. Try this any time you’re feeling off-track or overwhelmed, bit by bit letting go of Christmas tensions.
Graeme Armstrong is teaching on our Newcastle Mindfulness Level 1 course starting this Spring (2017). To see more details, please click here.