This December, I’m really working on two things: mindfulness and stress reduction. This follows on the heels of a Whole30 we did in October, which increases awareness of how everything you eat makes you feel physically, and a recent flare-up in my chest that has impacted my breathing and at times hasn’t been all that fun. So, for me, mindfulness and stress reduction has meant the following:
Mindfulness: Paying attention and maintaining awareness of how everything I ingest — food, media, conversations, emotions — makes me feel and adjusting my mindset and/or actions accordingly.
Stress reduction: Taking steps to slow down, breathe more deeply, and take more time to digest everything without feeling rushed, pressured, anxious, or otherwise overwhelmed.
So it was a great pleasure to watch the latest Powerfullyou video posted on Facebook a week or so ago. Patrice, as usual, has an uncanny way of hitting the mark of timeliness with her messages. This month, she talks about relaxing into the holidays and finding the parts that make you the most happy, the most festive, and really being aware of and enjoying those moments. Good advice, Patrice! That sounds like a recipe for mindfulness and stress reduction!
Patrice’s message begs the question: what are some of the things that make us feel great around the holidays? Is it baking cookies and pies? Running around the mall? Well, I can’t say I’m much of a mall girl, but I do have a few recipes I make every year and it really just wouldn’t feel like Christmas to me if I didn’t. Papa’s coconut balls, for instance. Every time I make them, I think of my granddad and send up a silent “thank you” to him for that wonderful gift. I also love the really quiet evenings leading up to Christmas. After the dust of the day has settled, I like to turn off all the house lights and bask in the warm glow of the Christmas tree lights for a few precious, peaceful moments.
What about you? What are some of your favorite holiday moments? What puts the “happy” in your holidays?