Crowded shopping centers. Long lines. Hectic schedules. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is almost upon us, ushering in equal measures of cheer and stress. While the giving season is a time to make special memories with loved ones, it is also a time characterized by endless preparations and obligations. From attending office parties to hosting family dinners, anxiety is a common side effect of navigating the holiday frenzy.
Mindfulness can help to preempt the pressure that crops up between buying gifts and meeting work deadlines. By adhering to this practice during one of the busiest seasons, you can breathe easier for months to come, long after the latkes and pumpkin spice lattes are history. Many people assume that you have to be an expert in Buddhism to reap the benefits of meditation, but this simply isn’t the case. You don’t need a PhD in Eastern Philosophy to embrace the concept of mindfulness.
At its most basic, mindfulness emphasizes intentional living in the present moment. Too often, thoughts about the past or future can cloud your appreciation of the here and now, whether you are analyzing a comment your boss made or worried about an upcoming parent-teacher conference. The result? Stress and anxiety. The solution? A healthy dose of informal meditation.
It’s easier than think. Next time you feel your racing mind getting the better of you, take a few deep, measured breaths, clear your head and take notice of the world around you. Slow the stream of thoughts about the past and future and remember to be thankful for the present. There’s no need to block off time in your busy schedule; mindfulness and meditation are extremely flexible. Take a few moments while you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, as you walk your dog or after you finish a project at work. Through mindful living, you can let go of stress and truly enjoy the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve and every day in between.
The Mayerson JCC offers many ways to incorporate mindful meditation into your workout. Go here to learn more about our Yoga offerings.