Remember the year when the "Yay, Advent is here!" turned into a "Oh God, is it December again? As you get older, Christmas time often loses its magic - especially as responsibilities increase and time seems to slip through your fingers faster and faster. Presents have to be bought and the holidays have to be planned. Then there are also various Christmas celebrations, a tree that needs to be decorated and cookies that need to be baked. The department stores and shops are overcrowded and the pushing and shoving at the Christmas market can only be endured with a mulled wine or two, right? That means that the Christmas season is very exhausting for many of us and the anticipation of the feast of love is enormously dampened
So how do we get through the Advent season with less stress? How can mindfulness help us to slow down and relax during the most hectic time of the year?
Tips for a mindful Christmas season
Come back to the here and now
Being mindful means to focus all your attention on the here and now and to experience the present moment without judgement. And this is where we so often fail in stressful times. Instead of being in the present, we are stuck with one leg in the past and the other in the future. The thoughts and to-do lists that occupy us during the Christmas season in addition to the already stressful everyday life make it difficult for us to perceive the present moment. In our minds, the thoughts turn over and lead to the fact that we are inwardly on our toes the whole day
Here, a first step can be to illustrate all the to-do's and errands that are pending on a large sheet of paper and to write them down clearly. This way you create space in your head and have everything in view at once. Write down everything that comes to your mind, be it just one more little thing
Your senses offer you another possibility to get back to the here and now as fast as lightning. No matter where you are or what you are doing, pause for a moment and perceive what is happening around you. What do you hear? What smells are in the air? What do you feel? What taste do you perceive? Can you taste? What do you see? This little exercise can do great things and help you to relax from within.
Your breathing is a similarly effective tool. If everything is getting too much for you or your head is smoking from all the things you have to think about, breathe deeply into your stomach several times through your nose. Let the air escape through your mouth and consciously try to relax your muscles. If we feel stress, we often tense our abdominal, jaw, face or shoulder muscles without even noticing it. Let go.
Here you can get more ideas for mindfulness exercises for in between.
Take a break!
Yeah, that's right. Especially when we have a lot to do and run from one appointment to the next, we hardly allow ourselves time off - after all, we still have so much to do! But especially in such moments it is important that we take breaks. Pause for a moment, come down, do something that gives us pleasure or takes our mind off things. Sometimes only five minutes are enough to relax and bring a breath of fresh air into our thoughts
So turn up your favourite Christmas song, make yourself a cup of tea or retreat to a quiet place for a short 5-minute meditation
Also think about the tasks and tasks you can get help with. There is no shame in asking other people for help. Splitting up tasks makes preparation easier and is also fun!
Work on your attitude
I can't preach it enough: Your thoughts determine how you feel and how you finally live your day. So consciously think positive thoughts, for example, by thinking about something in between that you are grateful for. Or concentrate on what is really important to you. Or by trying to look at an unsatisfactory situation from a different perspective. Even a "forced" smile can make a difference: Smiling releases happiness hormones and your body suggests to your brain that you are happy. Try it out, and it's best to do it now. Come on, first the corner of your mouth, then the other. It's not that difficult, is it?
Journaling or visualization can also help here. Write down your thoughts and worries from your heart, reflect on your day in the evening and consciously remember something that went well that day. You can also take a few minutes and think about the perfect Christmas for you. How would you like to meet your fellow human beings? What is important for you on these holidays? How can you bring joy to others? What can you do to feel comfortable with difficult relatives? Be honest with yourself. Take care of yourself and allow yourself to allow any feelings you may have. And remember that you are GOOD ENOUGH. You are already doing a great job, I'm sure!
Mindfulness through the Christmas season with our Mindfulness Advent Calendar
As a little mindfulness inspiration for each day of the Advent season I have put together a little Mindfulness Advent calendar for you. You can print it out or save it as background on your computer. It should carry you through the Christmas season and remind you to be mindful of yourself. It will also remind you that it is okay to take breaks, take a step back or do something good for yourself. So that the "Oh God, is it December again?" becomes "Yay, Advent season is here!" again
To access the Mindfulness Advent Calendar PDF, click here or simply click on the following picture.