Enjoy Christmas more by being mindful

IT sounds New Age, but mindfulness is for everyone. And it couldn’t be simpler.

It’s about embracing opportunities. Slow down, switch off the ‘distracted’ button, and savour.

Despite the stress, Christmas is a great time to practice mindfulness, and boost your wellbeing.

“Being more mindful is almost too easy,” says Steven Tromans, a hypnotherapy and NLP expert. “All you need to do is become aware of what is going on through your senses. So, when you’re really engaged in the activity, allow your mind to go a little quieter, and then really [notice] what’s going on around you.

“Any activity can become more enjoyable when you’re in the moment. The pathway to this is not through ‘thinking’; it’s through becoming as fully absorbed as possible in your sensory experience of the here-and-now, and it’s much easier than you think.”

ICE-SKATING

Reconnect with your inner child and have festive fun. You might come home with a few bruises, but you’ll be glowing with endorphins, too. As personal trainer, George Coote, says ice-skating is good exercise and can improve co-ordination and balance.

“Take the opportunity to try something new, and it’s a great work-out, toning your legs, bum and abdominals, due to the instability of being on the ice.”

WALKING

The great outdoors is beautiful in winter — get out there and appreciate it. “Don’t let the winter blues interrupt your ability to stay fit; make your winter activities count,” says Coote. “Why not go for a walk over the Christmas period, with the family? Add short bursts of jogging every minute, to raise the heart rate and get the blood flowing. It’s great for the heart and lungs and will burn the few extra calories you may have consumed over the festive season.”

Even a gentle, 15-minute stroll could reduce stress.

BAKING

Baking is a rewarding, stress-relieving pastime, and, in today’s hectic world, retreating to the peaceful haven of the kitchen, pummelling your frustrations into a ball of dough or batter, is appealing.

If you’re a baking beginner, the festive season is the perfect opportunity to start; mince pies and Christmas cake taste much better made with love. Forget whatever else is going on in the world and engage your senses in the process — this is what mindfulness is all about.

Hopefully, as your sponge rises, so too will your spirits.


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