“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
December is the time when many of us are scrambling, and feeling the pressure from all sides. The holiday season is often filled with lots of stimulation from the external world of the senses and the internal world of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Perhaps you are wondering what celebrating Christmas will look like this year? No matter where you are, you may be anticipating more intimate gatherings or virtual get-togethers. It is easy to experience stress and overwhelm.
In these turbulent times, mindfulness has the power to reinforce the shared humanity that holds us all together. When we bring awareness to the way that we relate to ourselves on an individual level, when we develop a deeper understanding of and more compassionate connection with our self, this is mirrored in our interactions with those around us.
3 Mindful Practices for You This Christmas:
- Let yourself shift into a place of feeling more at ease. Even if it’s just for 5 seconds, bring your awareness to the present moment:
- Stop, pay attention to your breathing without trying to do or change anything.
- Take a deep breath in through the nose, feeling as if you are taking in a deep, nourishing breath. Hold for a moment, then release slowly and gently letting go of anything that you don’t need.
- Unplug your mind. Make a vow to put down your phone this Christmas and be fully present with those around you. Observe what this approach does to your experience in each moment, you may find that it expands and deepens your connections.
- Allow yourself to fully experience the present moment. Christmas lays the ground for interaction. With the repeated practice of awareness, we can give presence to everything that Christmas brings from warmth and happiness to difficulty and tension, without needing to change or fix anything. We may find that being better connected to the moment in this way, a better connection to our self and to our family and friends begins to blossom.
This Christmas, challenge yourself to practice mindfulness in a way that will be especially meaningful to you.
You can read Denise’s HSSCU articles below:
- ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ here
- ‘How Mindfulness Can Help Us Through Challenging Times’ here
- ‘How Can I Best Take Care of Myself’ here
- ‘Meditate While You Walk’ here
- ‘Reconnect With Your Body’ here
*Please note that Health Services Staffs Credit Union is not an expert on mindfulness techniques and that all above advice is from Denise Coleman, qualified mindfulness teacher and HSSCU scholarship recipient. Any views above are not made on behalf of HSSCU.
Are You Interested in Sharing Your Expertise?
Should you feel that you have expertise that would help HSSCU members, please email your idea/proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.