How to have a mindful Christmas and New Year

We look forward to it, yet the festive season brings it own stresses. Here are five ways to mindfully navigate Christmas and the New Year.

1. Love life 
Most of us yearn for holidays and a break from our routine. Then, so often, towards the end of the break, we find ourselves looking forward to the structure and familiarity of our regular lives. This is healthy. For, while it is important to have holidays, it is vital that we value our day-to-day existence, too. Celebrate the routine that helps shape your life, and weave into it things that support and nourish you.

2. Manage expectations 
Christmas can be a wonderful period but, for some, it can also be a loaded one, filled with memories and hopes and fears. Try to be aware of these tugs – just acknowledging their existence can lessen their impact and leave you free to revel in the happy moments.

3. Make time to meditate
On the one hand, we cherish the extra time we spend with family and friends during this season. On the other, it can result in tension and conflict. Try to carve out ten minutes away from the hustle and bustle to meditate. Take time to appreciate what is good and recognise possible hot spots. If you identify potentially challenging situations, you can deal with them intentionally rather than with a hasty reaction that you may later regret. Listen to this helpful meditation: Experience your breath

4. Reflect
Now is your chance to reflect on the achievements of the past year, pat yourself on the back for the progress you’ve made and consider what lies ahead. Give some thought to what your goals for 2017 look like. Try to hold them simply as intentions, though. You needn’t be too attached to the outcome – it can be invigorating just to envisage yourself achieving them.

5. Relax and rejuvenate
Above all, try to relax, unwind and relish all of the good things that the festive period brings. Reward yourself for a year’s hard work. But aim to do so in a way that enhances your health and wellbeing, so that you can enter 2017 in a calm, focused and contented frame of mind.