The holiday season is approaching quickly. It seems to make its presence known earlier and earlier every year. We have plenty of notice to prepare, and yet, our built-in conditioned behaviors and responses create a frenzied, chaotic atmosphere. We are forced to relearn ways to navigate and survive the stress and anxiety we internally create around a time that is meant to be filled with love, compassion, gratitude and thanks. If we can begin to practice living mindfully on a daily basis, then maybe the next time the holidays arrive, we can welcome them with a levity that has been missing in the past. It’s a practice in taking time to offer nourishment to the mind, body, and spirit to achieve a more balanced way of living.
The following 4 suggestions are about keeping it as simple as possible:
- Get out in nature. If 5 minutes is all you have available, then take it. Sit under a tree where you live or go for a short walk. Step outside during a lunch break. Use those few moments to feel the wind blowing on your skin, notice the richness of color present in the trees and flowers, and connect with your senses to become fully present with what is happening right in the moment. Feel the aliveness in all that is around you and realize that you are connected to a most beautiful energetic flow.
- Drink water! It is optimal to drink one half your bodyweight (in pounds) as clear fluids, e.g. filtered water and/or decaffeinated herbal teas, in ounces per day. This is a simple way to stay hydrated while also flushing toxins out of the body. There are multiple insulated cups on the market that can keep beverages cool for 24 hours. The ice doesn’t even melt!
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. This is a wonderful way to step outside of the critical, thinking mind. This is not to say that things can’t go wrong and that bad things can’t happen, however, these occurrences will continue to arise and then fall away. We have no way of predicting the outcome of an event before it happens. If we know this clearly, then our attachment to outcome fades away.
- Smile! A most simple act that can touch the very essence of who we are. Offering a smile to another, even when we aren’t feeling particularly joyful, this can change the present moment immediately. When an individual smiles back at us, it lightens the
load slightly and gives us pause to become fully aware of what is important. Once the seed is planted, we never know how we will touch another’s life.
Fully embracing where we are on a physical, mental and spiritual level at any particular moment in time is critical to a mindful way of living. Things are constantly changing so we must learn to trust and allow the flow of this life. The obstacles we encounter in addition to the balanced ease that arrives when things are going well are both necessary to create balance in our lives. Whether it is the holiday time of year or not, try to keep it simple and the rest will fall into place in a most harmonious way.
By Shelli Meyerson, RYT-200