How To Stay Present During The Holiday Season
With the holiday season creeping up on us, there’s a lot of magic to look forward to. The leaves changing colors, festive decorations everywhere, and cozy nights in by the fireplace are some of my favorite parts about this time of year.
The trouble is that the holiday season can be overwhelming. It’s easy for the magic to be lost when you feel rushed or anxious about holiday invites, gift giving, and family gatherings.
If we want to enjoy the holiday season more, we have to focus our efforts on being a little more present with ourselves and others. By making time to stay present, we can improve our relationships with others and connect with them more deeply away from our screens.
Keep reading for five tips to help you be present during the holiday season, especially during holiday gatherings!
The Importance of Staying Present
When I was younger, I always found holiday gatherings to be a chore. Whether it was a dinner with my parents’ friends or a holiday-themed work party, I never really wanted to be there for more than an hour.
Now that I’m older and (somewhat) wiser, I’ve started to value these connections with other people during the holidays. Though I’m an introvert, I recognize that spending time with others during the holidays months can make them more magical.
Watch the video below to learn more about the #MakeTime initiative and why it’s so important that we focus on being present in our relationships.
In order to be more present in our lives, we have to remove distractions and make a conscious effort to engage more with those around us. If you’re ready to make the most of the holiday season, here are five ways you can be a little more present with yourself and others:
5 Ways To Be Present During The Holidays
1. Set an Intention
Unlike a goal which is focused on a future event, an intention is a reminder of how you want to act and think in the present moment. You can think of an intention like a mantra that guides your actions and thoughts. To help you stay mindful during the holidays, set an intention that reminds you to make time for what matters. Think about what you most enjoy about the holiday season (for example, the crisp weather, nights by the fireplace, or festive gatherings) and use your intention to help you slow down and enjoy these things mindfully.
Related Post: How To Add More Mindfulness Into Your Everyday
2. Devote Your Full Attention
It may sound cheesy, but the best gift we can give anyone these days is the gift of our entire presence. When you’re with friends, family, or even acquaintances, make a conscious effort to focus your attention on who you’re with, Try to keep your phone out of sight and if possible, encourage others to put their phones away too (especially at the dinner table). We deepen our relationships with others the most when we are fully present, actively listening, and staying curious about what they have to say. Never underestimate the impact of being present with the people you love.
3. Challenge Yourself To Engage
If you tend to want to leave parties as soon as they start (guilty!), see what happens if you challenge yourself to engage instead. Often we don’t let ourselves enjoy things because we assume they’re going to be terrible, but you might be surprised by what can happen if you actively engage with others instead of hiding in a corner. I tend to reach for my phone when there’s a lull in the conversation, but I think this only prevents further conversation from happening. Instead, challenge yourself to check in with friends and family members to see what’s new in their lives or simply see what happens when you listen to someone instead of defaulting to the phone scroll.
Related Post: How To Spend More Quality Time With People You Love
4. Find Joy In The Little Things
When the end of the year is rapidly approaching, it’s easy to feel like you have no time to enjoy the holidays. Try not to focus so much on how busy everything is and instead try to find moments of joy throughout the day. Find something to be grateful for every day and document it in with a photo or writing about it in a journal. When you ask yourself what you’re grateful for each day, you begin to pay attention to the little things that bring you joy. Whether it’s the leaves on the trees changing color, a spiced drink from the coffee shop, or a meaningful conversation with a friend, take note of what’s bringing you joy so you can remember these moments when everything else is stressful.
5. Give Yourself Space
In order to give those we love the attention they deserve, we have to take a step back and make sure we are giving ourselves attention too. Though it often feels selfish, you have to take care of yourself before trying to take care of everyone else. There is nothing wrong with turning down an invite if you know there’s no way you’ll be able to stay present. It’s okay to make time for your own needs.
Related Post: 5 Ways To Say No And Stop Over-Committing Yourself
What’s your intention for the holiday season?
I hope this post has inspired you to find ways to be present during the holiday season. I’d love to know how you plan to #MakeTime for yourself and others – leave a comment below with your ideas!