The Holiday season is all about relaxing and enjoying your time off from work and school. But preparing for them, buying gifts and planning parties can get demanding and stressful very quickly. As we get more overwhelmed, it can get difficult to focus on what’s important during the holidays: spending quality time with your loved ones and enjoying the moments we have with them. Staying present is an important skill to have – especially during this time. That’s why the team at THIRA put together a few quick tips on how to be – and stay – present this holiday season.
1. Pause and appreciate: As you do any holiday-related activities, like choosing a gift, decorating a tree or even just calling a family member, pause and think to yourself – why are you thankful for this moment? What are some positive things you feel as you dedicate your time to it? Acknowledge your actions and ground yourself in what you are doing. It may help to write them down and glance at them when you feel stressed. Keeping your mind focused on what’s
2. Let technology go: One sure way to focus on your physical surroundings is to put away your cell phone, tablets, and laptops (and any other electronics). Live in the moment, stay active in physical conversations, and dedicate your time and thoughts to those who choose to spend their time with you, in-person. Check out this nifty list of apps to help keep your use of electronics under control.
3. Practice mindfulness – By definition, mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” Even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, practicing a moment of mindfulness can help you start your day off the right foot, take a break in the middle or take your mind off things to get restful sleep. THIRA has a few simple suggestions, you can try them out as often as you need to!
Being present is a choice, not a requirement. When you choose to be present and mindful of your surroundings, you are choosing to live a richer, fuller life. And there’s no better time to start doing it than during the holidays.