Join Mindful Instructor Rachael Lewinski for a guided Loving Kindness Meditation.
(Begins at 2:45)
With the holiday season upon us, it can be so easy to lose our sense of selves in the busy-ness of to-do lists, meal planning, gift wrapping, and (really trying to) kindly deal with our relatives. We might also be trying to focus on finding the perfect presents for the ones we love. As we do that, let's also make sure to also focus on presence with the ones we love. The following ideas are some we hope you can incorporate into your holiday celebrations.
Giving your time or energy is one of the greatest gifts you can provide to someone else. Notice how you feel as you practice generosity for others.
Make a gratitude list
Creating a daily, short gratitude list of specific things in the day that you are grateful for can help incline the mind toward the good in life.
Connect with others
While Facebook can be a resource for connection, see if you can start nurturing some regular face-to-face connections with people who are supportive with you. Start making some regular plans to go to coffee, go on a hike, or join a local group which supports your interests. If you have a family and everyone has been on their own schedule lately, create a regular family time for connection.
Make being present a family priority
Insist on "screen-free" dinners together without phones or other distractions. During meal preparation, think of the journey your food took in order to get to the table. Once meal time takes place, really taste your food, savoring each bite. Talk about the day. Listen to one another. Consider taking a break from screens for a whole Saturday or even a whole weekend. Be fully present to the people and events in your life.
Bundle up the family after dinner, or after dark, and walk through your neighborhood. Take it slow. Focus on what's going on around you rather than to-do lists that have to be done or other things that need to be planned. Notice the holiday lights, the snow on the ground, or your breath in the air. Listen to your footsteps on the sidewalk, the sounds of traffic, or dogs barking.
Focus on presence, not productivity
You don't have to change anything, make a goal list, improve your diet, or focus on solutions right now. Just be, and enjoy the moment.
Practice kindness, acceptance, and patience
Practice these traits with family members, your children, or your friends- especially those who may have a difficult time during the holidays. Also, remember to practice these for yourself. No one is perfect- so practice kindness, acceptance, and patience with yourself on the tough days-and celebrate the joys on the good days, too!