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Mindfulness in the Midst of the Holidays

December 26, 2018

The holidays are sometimes a challenging time comprised of both happiness and sadness and, frequently, a time of increased stress.  As we think about the gifts and the losses in our lives, we can be left feeling emotionally drained and, at times, as though we’re just waiting for the holidays to be over.

Mindfulness, or the practice of opening ourselves to life just as it is without judgment or self-criticism, can make a difference.

So, what can we do to respect the place we find ourselves in and nurture our hearts and spirits?

Mindfulness, or the practice of opening ourselves to life just as it is without judgment or self-criticism, can make a difference.  In practicing mindfulness, we can take a little time for ourselves, perhaps just 10-15 minutes each day, to make room for all the thoughts and feelings that arise.

Follow this simple exercise to bring mindfulness into your holidays:

  • Sitting in a comfortable, private place, begin by gently closing your eyes and deepening your breathing.
  • With every exhale, you can soften the muscles of the face, neck, and shoulders.
  • As the muscles soften, you may let the breath move as it does naturally in and out, observing the rise and fall of the chest and abdomen.
  • As thoughts and feelings arise, you can notice them gently and return your attention to the breath as it moves in and out of the body.
  • You may relax in this practice for 5-10 minutes, open your eyes and journal for a few minutes, say a prayer, put on music that you enjoy, or reach out to connect to a family member or friend.  In this way, you let your heart and spirit be heard, nurtured, and supported as you recognize and respect both the gifts and the challenges of the holidays.

May your own heart and spirit be safe, peaceful, and loved.

Interested in learning more about mindfulness?

Join one of our upcoming Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) uses meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. It is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up, being fully alive, and being present for the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress. We are currently offering a variety of mindfulness courses for every level of interest and availability:

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