While we always hope the holidays will be relaxed and joyful, stress can show up as we navigate family dynamics, financial strains, and societal pressure. Here we share some ideas to help you find mindful moments so you can return to calm
1. Wrapping gifts
Whether you love or loathe gift wrapping, there are a few things we can do to make it more a mindful. Dim the lights, play some holiday music, pour a glass of your favourite festive tipple. As you wrap, take a moment to feel the texture of the paper, notice the colours of the bows, and the delicious sound your scissors make when cutting. Go slow and lose yourself in the process.
2. Going for a winter walk
Heading outside when it’s cold may not seem appealing, but there’s magic to be found on winter walks. Wrap up in your favourite coat, scarf, hat, and gloves. Pull on some boots with good grip to navigate any icy patches, and make your way outside.
Notice the way the bracing air feels as it hits your skin. Look out for interesting patterns, perhaps there are footprints in snow or some particularly pleasing brick-work. Listen out for birds singing, squirrels scurrying, and trees swaying in the wind. If you’re in a city, can you hear snippets of conversations on the breeze?
3. Making hot chocolate
Having a mindful moment is all about doing something slowly and with intention. With this in mind, making a hot chocolate can become a ritual. Use your favourite mug (the bigger the better in our opinion) and use your senses to explore every step of creation, from warming the milk and adding the chocolate, to finishing with a flurry of marshmallows.
If possible, take some time to sip it slowly, noticing the flavour with each mouthful. While drinking, cosy up with a good book, listen to a calming playlist, or simply look out the window and take a moment to be fully present.
4. Lighting a festive aromatherapy candle
Aromatherapy is a simple yet effective way to make any moment more mindful, as it triggers our sense of smell and pulls us into the here and now. Look for warming and fresh scents such as nutmeg, pine, frankincense, cinnamon, orange, or clove.
Use your candle as a way to signal relaxation time, perhaps after you finish work for the day, or when the kids are tucked up in bed. Light the candle and pause for a moment to watch the flame (you could even try a candle meditation) and notice the scent, taking slow, deep breaths.