Health Wise: Being Mindful Through This Holiday Season


Each year, around this time, we like to talk about mindful ways to celebrate the holidays, fight holiday stress, and find ways to allow positivity into our lives. This year, this is even more important than in years past. It’s not exactly an easy time to feel festive and joyful with everything going on, so it’s important to pause and find ways to re-connect with the holiday spirit in new and creative ways

There are some positives that we can start out being connected with. For instance, the streets are decorated and the stores are full of holiday goodies. Those of us who venture out safely, have moments where we may forget altogether that we are in a pandemic. However, that can make it even harder when we are jolted back into reality. It’s important to appreciate and absorb the holiday cheer around us as best we can while staying safe. Yes, that means adjustments to what is “normal” this year, but still cherishing the many ways to enjoy the season.

Here are some ideas for mindfully focusing on the holiday season in safe ways. These can be useful to anyone who celebrates any of the holidays in the coming month, and some of these tips can easily apply to those who do not celebrate any holidays at this time of year:

  1. Emphasis on outdoor experiences - go for a drive to look at decorated houses and light displays in your area, explore outdoor entertainment (like Frankenmuth or Greenfield Village, if you can do so safely), and when we get some snow, try sledding, cross-country skiing, or snow shoe walks in the park. Pause and be mindful of the lights, the snow, and anything else joyful in your immediate surroundings.
  2. Family activities - focus on the loved ones you have nearby. Make some hot chocolate, prepare some snacks, and play some board games/video games, do a puzzle, or watch holiday movies. Appreciate your loved ones, purposefully.
  3. New recipes - just because we can’t host big get-togethers doesn’t mean we cant make yummy food! Explore some new recipes or whip up some traditional recipes and make holiday meals for your household. Engage every family member to try. Be mindful and appreciate the process of food preparation and try mindfully eating the food in front of you. Slow down and truly appreciate the smells, textures, temperature, taste, etc.
  4. Crafts - try some new seasonal crafts! Even if you’re not having guests for the holidays, make your home glow with holiday and winter decor. Make art, ornaments, centerpieces, etc. Try doing it with objects you already have in the house! Arts and crafts are highly mindful activities.
  5. Stay-cation - if you typically take a trip during the holidays, consider still taking a vacation from work if you can. It’s easy to say “Well I might as well just work though the holidays” but we encourage you to still take some time off and do some deliberate self-care.
  6. Virtual get-togethers - yes, we are all tired of video calls. However, it’s still better in many ways than feeling isolated during the holidays. Cook meals and eat together on a video call, play board games or computer/video games that can be done remotely, etc. Be present with each other (put away other devices, turn off notifications, maximize the screen).
  7. Mental health - this pandemic holiday season can trigger some negative feelings, and this can be a good time to consider counseling to get some support. Gift yourself an hour a week to focus on yourself and maximizing your mental health.

This holiday season is different, and it would be easy to focus on what’s missing. But by doing so, we might miss what is still here. Let’s actively pledge to focus on the positives, the joy, and beauty that this season brings.

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season!

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified