From the Desk of the CEO, Rod Burkett
The rotting pumpkins have been removed from the porch, and the last few pesky leaves have been carted away. The cold December air signals that the holiday season is fast approaching. A national survey recently showed that close to 60% of Americans dread the holidays because of the added stressors of high expectations, busy schedules, family gatherings, and added financial pressures. Another study stated that we adult humans are only fully present in the moment approximately 47% of the time…the other half of our time finds our minds consumed with the past, or worrying about the future. We all have those moments where we are physically present, but our minds are somewhere else, and the hectic holiday season seems to further intensify this struggle in our heads.
Before the stress of the holidays sneaks up on you, here’s a few mindfulness tips that I try to incorporate into my routines, after listening to several experts in the psychological field.
1. Get totally immersed into a sight or sound of the season…such as admiring the twinkling lights on a tree or truly deeply listening to the lyrics of a Christmas carol playing in the background.
2. Accept that stressors and imperfections are a normal part of life…nothing is going to be perfect, so focus on the simple things that come with the season.
3. Focus on simple ways to connect with neighbors, coworkers, friends and family…COVID taught us several more ways to stay connected.
4. Reminisce about past positive holiday experiences and traditions with loved ones who have passed or are geographically distant.
5. Be mindful of our increased caloric intake over the holidays…eat slowly and connect all the senses of flavors and smells…be accepting that it’s okay to indulge here and there, but not for every meal, just because it’s the holidays.
Best wishes for the holidays, and for health and happiness throughout the coming year!