The winter holidays are a very special time of year and ought to be filled with good cheer, quality time spent with family and friends, and embracing a spirit of good will and gratitude. There’s nothing like watching wide-eyed children experience the joy of opening presents, enjoying home made family meals and reconnecting with loved ones.
However, the magic of the season is often accompanied by a lot of stress. We’re running around like crazy — shopping for gifts, attending office holiday parties and organizing get-togethers with family and friends. And as we carry increased financial and social responsibility this month, our emotions are more heightened in December than any other time of year, according to research. Family tensions are at their highest, while the absence of loved ones (far away or no longer with us) is felt even more deeply throughout the holidays. It’s an intense time of year, period.
Just 10 Minutes Each Day. As many of you know and science tells us, the benefits of meditation are tremendous. It’s reduces our stress, improves our immune system and increases our ability to focus. Meditation gives us a stronger sense of gratitude, happiness and connectedness (totally in line with the spirit of the winter holidays). Yet many of us tell ourselves we don’t have time or it’s just not ‘our thing’ before giving it a chance because – as with anything new – we need to make the first move.
We challenge you to set aside a few moments each day to disconnect with the noise and activity around you, in order to reset yourself in a powerful and beautiful way. The first few times you try it, you may have trouble focusing; don’t but be discouraged. This is a personal process and not one to be judged. Commit to the practice for a week and you’ll see improvement. The mere practice of deciding to focus on your breath and the present moment for a short period of time each day is good for your mind, soul and body. (And if you skip a day or two, don’t worry about it. Continue when you’re able to.)
Here is a brief meditation we encourage you to try (for those who are unfamiliar or haven’t tried meditation). This daily practice will boost your inner strength and peacefulness; it will help you experience more joy and a sense of calm this holiday season. And what better way to begin 2016 than with an inspiring, empowering and healthy new habit?
10-Minute Morning Meditation (from Ten Minute Wellness)
Begin your day by centering yourself with a quick morning meditation. Get up 10 minutes early so you have the time. You will find that your day goes much smoother and you can actually get more done if you’re centered and focused.
- Grab your cup of tea (or whatever your morning drink is)
- Find a quiet spot
- Get comfortable and close your eyes
- Begin to notice your breath as you inhale and exhale
- Inhale to a count of 4
- Exhale to a count of 4 (repeat 3 times)
Any time is a good time. If it’s not possible for you to meditate in the morning, any time throughout the day or evening is beneficial. Mornings are recommended because after sleep (and before we are plugged in to technology) we tend to be our most fresh. However, any time you have 10 minutes to spare and feel inspired to meditate, it’s well worth it.
“Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa is not a date on a calendar. It’s more than a state of mind. It’s a condition of the heart.” -Toni Sorenson
* Song To Get You in the Mood:
“Powerful” by Major Lazer + Ellie Goulding + Tarrus Riley.
Because you’re more powerful than you know.
Sources & Related Links:
Ten Minute Wellness for meditation tips.
“How To Keep Your Emotions in Check During the Holidays”, article: http://goo.gl/1awbZN