How to Be Present This Christmas
It’s that time of year again!
Time to not only shower your friends and family with love but also yourself. If you haven’t made time to treat yourself this year, we’re encouraging you to find a moment for self-reflection, spiritual solitude, and gratitude for who you are and how far you’ve come!
You may feel overwhelmed by the holiday hustle, scrambling to find that perfect gift or the very best ham to cook for your family on Christmas night. And with all of the challenges we’ve faced this year, it might feel impossible to step back and take a break.
Your to-do list is piling up, the budget is growing thinner, and dinner still needs to be planned.
However, the real treasure, the true gift of the holidays, is the present moment.
With so much on our minds, it can be hard to remember that the most important thing to focus on this holiday season is the “now”– the sound of fire crackling in the fireplace, the smell of pine needles falling to the wooden floor, the choir of voices singing carols, and the moments of connection with your friends, family, and loved ones.
This is the time of year to make a choice.
Are you going to let yourself become bogged down with holiday stress, or are you going to make the conscious decision to enjoy yourself this year? The present is truly all we have, and it really is the greatest gift of all.
Real Benefits of Being Present
As Henry David Thoreau once said, “Live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment.”
There is a sort of magic that exists within the present moment. We aren’t concerned with the things that brought us stress and worry in the past, nor are we bogged down by the fear or anxiety of the future. We simply are.
When you allow yourself to exist in the present moment, you give yourself a chance to truly soak in the beauty of each passing second. In fact, lessening your body’s oxidative stress is one of the biggest benefits of living in the present moment. This is the stress hormone linked to aging, and it releases itself within our bodies when we’re stuck with worry.
The thing is, the past is behind us. 2020 has come and almost gone, and the future isn’t guaranteed.
All we truly have to rely on is the present moment – this is all we’re really granted in this life. Being in the present moment allows you to experience life in a fuller, more appreciative way.
Read this article next: How to Show Up for Yourself During Hard Times
How to Become Present This Christmas
Fortunately, there are many ways for you to become more present this holiday season. If you want to learn everything you need to know about celebrating Christmas with a sense of clarity and a connection to the present moment, keep reading!
1. Focus on Your Breath
What’s one of the first things you do when you meditate or practice yoga, or sit down to journal about your feelings? Take a deep breath. What are we taught in moments of stress or panic? Breathe deeply.
Breathing is such an important part of staying calm, cool, and collected, and we often forget how important breathing is to the appreciation of the present moment.
That’s why the importance of breathing is so focused upon in stressful moments. So, if you find yourself feeling stressed out and less-than-present this holiday season, try to remember to take a deep breath for more focus and grounding.
2. Put the Phone Away
We understand how miraculous our smartphones are – they hold our appointments, address books, apps, photos, and everything in between. Smartphones are certainly an added convenience of the 21st century, and while our phones can make life so much easier, they can also act as a distraction from our ordinary lives.
Putting your phone down this Christmas may be all you need to do to remind yourself that being present is the best gift for yourself and others.
We get it. Our phones are addictive. It’s hard to put it down when Instagram and TikTok are so darned entertaining. But, it’s hard to absorb all of the moments of beauty when our eyes are locked onto a screen.
Need some extra help? Check out: 10 Quick Tips to Unplug From the Digital World
3. Try to Meditate
One of the most beneficial things you can do to remind yourself to be present is to meditate – an act that can seem confusing and irritating, but one that is so important for our mental wellbeing.
Meditation is such a healing act that will help you root yourself in the present moment. It helps you let go of the stressors of the past while encouraging you to avoid overthinking about the future.
Try beginning your days with meditation this month. When you wake up, take a moment to sit in silence and absorb the beautiful energy of the world around you.
4. Appreciate the Small Moments
Some of the most magical moments of our lives are those small moments that take us by surprise. This is the best time of year to embrace those small moments that come together to create the memory reel of our lives.
You never know which small moments will take you by surprise the most – which small miracles will take up space in our minds for the future to come.
So, now is the time to appreciate the small moments:
- When your dog gets excited about your return home.
- When your small child looks at you with gratitude.
- When your partner forms a tear in their eye due to their undying love for you.
- When you top your tree off with a golden star.
These are the moments that will follow you forever.
5. Practice Minimalism
Have you ever seen photos of a Christmas tree completely overtaken by gifts? While this seems like such a lovely notion, an abundance of treats can make it more difficult for us to appreciate them! It’s harder to enjoy your treasures when you’re overwhelmed by them.
That’s why minimalism can be so helpful during the holiday season!
Practicing minimalism reminds you that the true treasure is the family you’ve built, the friendships you cherish. And while you may feel concerned that children won’t understand the concept of minimalism, try to remind yourself that kids can have just as much fun with an empty cardboard box as they can with an elaborate and expensive toy.
The imagination of children is limitless!
6. Focus on What You Love
This is a wonderful time of year to indulge in your hobbies like writing in your journal, playing with your new planners, painting a picture, listening to a new album, or even binging that TV show you’ve been waiting for!
Don’t forget that your needs are just as important as the needs of others.
Sometimes, a little bit of alone time is all we need to gather energy and remind ourselves how beautiful and magical life is!
Be Present, & Watch the Magic Happen
There are so many ways for you to celebrate the holidays this year, so why not focus on being present in the moment? Allowing yourself to soak up each moment of beauty this year will help you feel more grateful and connected to those around you than ever!
So, take a moment to decide how you’d like to celebrate this year.
Do you want these moments to pass you by? Or, would you rather cherish them with every fiber of your being?
The choice is yours!
Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas!
Related article: 5 Valuable Lessons Learned from This Pandemic Year