Even though it’s a time of fun and frivolity, this time of year can also be stressful with the pressure of buying pressies, and getting along with the family.
Not to mention the hyper-stimulation and overconsumption at all the festive gatherings.
We often find ourselves feeling burnt out, bloated and bewildered by the time the New Year is underway. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Here are three simple but powerful tips to help you stay grounded in peace and presence in the coming weeks.
Tip 1 Conscious Chrissy Shopping
Giving gifts is a beautiful part of the Christmas ritual. When you give a thoughtful gift to someone, you are honouring him or her. Taking the time to choose a gift, wrapping it with care and offering it to a person – this involves love, selflessness and generosity.
But this beautiful gesture of connection and kindness can easily become meaningless in our busy, mass consumer culture – so your mission here is to reconnect with what it’s really all about, and you can do that in two ways.
Firstly, be mindful of the whole gift you want to give – what it will mean to the recipient and what you want to convey to them. You may also want to consider where it comes from, who you buy it from, how it is made and what it’s made of.
Secondly, enjoy the process of finding/making a gift for someone! Connect deeply to the spirit of giving instead of just ‘getting it done’ or ‘grabbing something’. Enjoy the natural sense of abundance and love that arises from focusing on how you can make another person happy.
Tip 2 Deep Listening and Sharing
The way we communicate with our loved ones over the holidays can be a source of frustration or an enriching and loving act (for you both). The difference is the way we approach it.
Here’s how to engage in mindful listening and speaking this year.
So often we let our judgments and beliefs about what we ‘know’ (about a subject or a person) prevent us from seeing things as they really are.
If you’ve ever caught yourself tuning someone out while they were talking because you were already sure you knew better, then you know that attitude. You’re sure you’re right, so you’re really not giving their point of view a chance. As they speak, instead of paying attention to their words, you’re forming your counter-argument in your mind.
We’ve all done it and when we’re doing this we’re not open. We’re rigid and closed-off.
Instead of doing this, practice mindful listening. Being mindful means being open and receptive, willing to experience everything as if it were the first time. It does not try to guess what the other person is going to say or assume it already knows better. It reserves judgment. It is generous with attention.
I guarantee you, that no matter what gift you buy for a person, this is a much greater gift. It’s an act of love and nourishment to truly listen in this way.
The perk is that when it comes your turn to speak you’re much more likely to be truly heard as you have set the stage for that. Speak from a place of centerdness and presence and the words to share will naturally be kind and uplifting.
Tip 3 Mindful Merrymaking
Contrary to what you might think you can party up a storm over the holidays and do it mindfully! In fact the more mindful you are, the more you will be able to really taste that delicious food and drink, the more you will truly hear that music and the more you will be deeply touched by the connection with your loved ones.
Mindfulness means being truly present for the moments of our lives on every level –body, mind and soul. So as you party and play, stay connected to yourself in the present moment – what you’re feeling and experiencing.
Notice how food and drink are making you feel and how the stimulation of the environment makes you feel. Is it energising or tiring? It will be different at different times. Know when you’ve had enough and give your self rest.
When your energy is high, go for it – play and dance and share and revel in the energy of celebration! Go into the flow state and soak it all up.
The wonderful thing about mindful merrymaking is that if your stay in touch with yourself and the moment, your less likely to overindulge or act in ways that do not serve you or others.
So you see, the silly season can be a celebratory, wondrously mindful time that can leave you feeling light, refreshed and happy.
Do you have some more tips to share with us for a sane silly season? Jot em’ down comments section below.