Christmas is a magical time of the year. It’s equally a busy and stressful time with a lot to plan, buy, cook and eat! So if you find yourself wishing you could curb some of the excesses, practice these mindful habits for the ultimate stress-free Christmas and holiday.

What is mindfulness?

Although not a new concept, mindfulness has become a modern day trend, gaining widespread support in promoting health and well-being. Originally embraced in some of the world’s oldest cultures, mindfulness is being consciously aware of your thoughts and emotions without criticism or judgment. In other words, the ultimate aim is to fix one’s attention more on the “present moment” without judgment.

Tip 1: Conscious eating. 

Let’s face it – it’s almost impossible to have an indulgent-free Christmas without pudding, champagne and crackling. When it comes to eating, mindfulness is about experiencing food more intensely — especially the pleasure of it. It involves learning to eat consciously: to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied, rather than using other common eating cues such as how much food is on  the buffet table, the size of the plate or cocktail glass. All these little things can shape our food choices, and often lend itself to indulging more than we need to. So eat with your senses. Take small bites and really pay attention to the taste, texture and experience of eating. Look at the meal; admire the colours, aromas, and savour every moment.

Tip 2. Strike a balance.

Okay, you pigged out at Christmas lunch. So what? When you think about the bigger picture, a day or two of over indulgences is not going to make a major difference in your overall wellbeing. It’s more about what you do most of the time, not every so often. As much as possible, stick to your regular fitness schedule, eat a balanced breakfast, snack with purpose and re-think your drinks.

Tip 3. Show self-compassion.

With lots of extended family members to visit or people to catch up with, it’s easy to forget about the importance of spending time with your own family time, even more importantly some ‘me’ time. Actively carve out moments of calm amongst the madness and plan (at least) 10 minutes for yourself into the day. This could be having a quiet cup of tea in another room or a brisk walk around the block – whatever it is, do something you love. Indulge your senses, feed your soul and make time just for you.

Tip 4. Dare a digital detox.

Shut the laptop, pop the the phone on silent, or have a night off Netflix. In short, give your mind space and time to recover from the information over load it’s having to consolidate at this stressful time of year. Even if you can only manage an hour here are there of switching ‘off’ all tech, it will work wonders. Your kids will love the undivided attention while playing Monopoly game or UNO, or you never know, you may catch up on much needed slumber and feel a lot more recharged for the countess festivities ahead.



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