Health Wise: Being Present for the Holidays

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While thanksgiving is now behind us, we encourage you to keep practicing gratitude all year long! You can find our blog on ways to actively practice gratitude here (link needed).

Let us share a gratitude with you here today: thank you for being part of our community! We are so grateful to be a part of the Saline, Ann Arbor, and Adrian communities, and to be able to engage with you and share tips and ideas all year long. Thank you for reading!

Our goal for encouraging gratitude is simple. While the holidays are generally a time we think of as positive - days off work, gifts, decoration, good food - when they’re here, we sometimes forget to enjoy them. It’s so easy to get lost in the chaos and stress.

Purposefully bringing our mind to the things we are grateful for can be one clear way to be here, now, and enjoy the positive moments. Let’s talk about other ways to practice mindfulness and be present in the holiday season and beyond.

  1. Journaling - take moments each day, or at least each week, to journal. This could be anything, from a full journal entry about your feelings to simple lists, such as 3 things you are grateful for from the day.
  2. Art - the holidays are a great time to craft or create art. Plan a painting or craft night with friends, family, or solo. Tap into the Pinterest ideas you saved but never tried!
  3. Use all of your senses -
    1. Sight - holiday lights, snowflakes, anything you can pause and observe
    2. Hearing - holiday music, crackling fire, just close your eyes and listen.
    3. Smell - candles, cooking and baking
    4. Touch - snow, soft blankets, anything you can touch and observe the sensations
    5. Taste - cookies, cocoa, peppermint lattes, pause and appreciate the tastes of the holidays.
  4. Mindful eating - elaborating on the taste sense mentioned above. Slow down and appreciate each bite, or sip, of holiday favorite. Observe the temperature, texture, flavors, and all of the feelings that come up. Savor each bite. The holidays are an excellent time to try out new recipes and then savor them as they become reality!
  5. Device-free time - when doing the above things, or just spending time with family, try setting your device aside for a period of time. Put it in another room, or turn it off completely. Notice how different things feel when there’s no little device pulling for your attention!

The holidays are such a stimulating and beautiful time and mindfulness opportunities are everywhere! Try out some of our ideas and share them with others, and come up with some ideas of your own. Lets dedicate ourselves to practicing and promoting being here, now. Being mindfully present is the best present we can give ourselves and our loved ones!

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