Have yourself a mindful little Christmas

Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year, but with heightened expectations, family stress and a long shopping list the festive season can often leave us feeling overwhelmed. This is where Mindfulness can support us. 

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way – on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement.

Research shows us that this has tremendous health benefits; being more attentive in the moment to our thoughts, feelings, and to the world around us can reduce feelings of stress and significantly improve mental wellbeing. So, this festive season why not have yourself a mindful little Christmas and here are some of my top tips of how to do just that:

Take Notice:

The holiday season is a great time to take a break and reflect on your day to day life and routine. We spend a lot of our time on autopilot; take some time to slow down, re-evaluate your priorities and relax.

Let it Be:
Christmas can be filled with a range of emotions; love, warmth, loneliness and sadness. Allow yourself to become aware of what is present; notice how feelings arise and pass through awareness without needing to react to them. The old adage is true “what we resist persists”.

Have Compassion:
Christmas can undoubtedly mean that we have to deal with some of those troublesome relatives. Practice some loving kindness, remind yourself that all human beings are “just like me”. They don’t want to feel pain, shame, or loneliness. “Just like me” they would rather experience happiness and acceptance. Remember to show yourself that same compassion.

Abandon Expectation:
What image does Christmas bring to mind? Perhaps you are sitting around the log fire, besides a beautifully decorated tree, singing carols whilst it gently snows outside the window. Try not to spend too much time caught up in thinking of how things ‘ought to be’; whilst we dwell on what isn’t, we miss the richness of what it.

And finally…
Remember to take good care of yourself. It is easy to listen to those thoughts that tell us what we should be doing rather than take the time to do what we need to be doing for ourselves. Recognise these powerful thoughts for what they are; thoughts. Thoughts are not fact.


If you need support during the festive period, there is support available:

Mind in Mid Herts are an innovative and experienced provider of mental health services in Mid Hertfordshire, for more information on services and the Mindfulness courses we provide you can contact us on [email protected] or 01727 865070.

If you are not based in Hertfordshire; be sure to check out your local Mind. Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on freephone 116 123.


Original link to the article can be found here


Posted on: 16th December 2019