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Mindfully Surviving the Holidays

Written byJondell Lafont

December is famous for being one of the busiest months of the year, if not the busiest month. With the holidays quickly approaching, we can easily get lost in a sea of chaos… We have holiday parties to attend, the kids are on break from school, family members are visiting, and it just doesn't seem like there is enough time for it

all. It can be completely overwhelming and stressful. So, what can you do to effectively manage all of this stress? Start a holiday mindfulness habit! Make time each day to slow down, be present, and check in with yourself.

One thing you can do to be mindful is practice a short grounding exercise once a day. The exercise I want to share is a simple body scan, and it can help you understand what is going on in the inside (thoughts, emotions, and memories) and what is going on around you in your environment. It takes less than 10 minutes, which makes it a great exercise to practice when you have limited time!

Body Scan

You can close your eyes during the exercise, or you can keep them open and focus softly on a spot in front of you. You can sit or lay flat on your back. Find what works for you.

First, go inside. Get in touch with your inner self. Notice any sensations of pain, tension, or discomfort. Do not do anything about these sensations. Simply notice them, and make space for them.

Next, notice any sensations of feeling at ease, relaxed, or comfortable. Do not try to create them. Just make space for even the smallest amount.

Now, notice any neutral sensations. These are the sensations that you normally do not notice, or pay attention to, because they are neutral.

Take a moment to feel all of the different sensations in your body.

Now, bring your attention to the outside. Notice your feet on the ground. Bring your awareness to the feeling of being connected to the ground or with the furniture on which you are sitting. Notice your environment with your senses. Become aware of any people around you.

Take a few more moments to be present with yourself on the outside, then one more moment on the inside.

Practice this activity at least once a day to get grounded in the here-and-now and to act in your own best interest.

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