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Mindfulness this Christmas

For many of us Christmas this year may be looking and feeling very different to other years. Our plans may not reflect what we’d originally hoped for. Mindfulness can be a powerful tool to help us to face the ups and downs of life. Here are my tips for bringing more mindfulness to your life this Christmas: 1. Recognise how you’re feeling It's okay if you’re experiencing some hard feelings about all of the changes you've been navigating. Take time to recognise and sit with your feelings rather than trying to ignore them or bottle them up and explore ways to process what you're feeling. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, scream and shout, go for a run or do some vigorous cleaning. Notice how your feelings change when you acknowledge them and release them. The aim is to express your emotions so that you can let them go. 2. Shift your focus Once you've given yourself time to acknowledge and express your feelings it’s important to move forward with the freedoms and possibilities that are still available to you. Look around and imagine what you might do with the people you can see, the places you can go, and the resources you have. Here are a few ideas • Start each morning with a tasty breakfast, meditation or gentle exercise. • Think of ways of making a difference to others, maybe baking and delivering some Christmas goodies, pick up shopping for an elderly neighbour or phoning someone you haven’t heard from in a while. • Wrap up warm and head out for a walk regardless of the weather. Look around you at the beauty and detail, take time to study things carefully; the bark of a tree, the cloud formation above you, the light on buildings or through the trees. • Try something new: an online class, visit a museum or art gallery online, take up a new creative hobby. 3. Stay in the moment When you find your mind mulling over negative thoughts, gently bring your attention back to making the holidays meaningful and staying in the here and now. If you're struggling to stay in the moment try using your senses to stay present. • Find some peaceful music and listen to it with no distractions. • Savour every sip of a warming festive drink being aware of the temperature and taste. • Snuggle up in your warmest cosiest clothing feeling the softness of the fabric against your skin. • Light a scented candle and take time to watch the flame flickering. • Have a warm shower or bath using a scented soap, inhale the smell and feel the comfort and warmth of the water on your skin. I hope these tips help to bring more peace and mindfulness into your life this Christmas. If you are struggling and would like more help and support please don’t hesitate to get in touch. www.balancedhorizons.co.uk



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