It’s the week of Christmas and I’m finding it unbelievable how quickly this year has passed. I know it’s not quite over yet, but this has been by far the fastest year of my life. It’s flown by at lightning speed, and I think part of the reason for that is the amount that’s been piling onto my plate in the last 6 months. I’m not complaining — I love the work I’m doing. I love this blog. I love the adventures we’ve had this past year (some of which I shared in my 2 year anniversary post), and I love that I have the luxury of choosing how to spend so much of my time. I think the problem is that sometimes the choice I make is to dive into Instagram or Facebook, and suddenly 30 minutes has passed. That’s going to change in 2016.
I made a promise to myself and to you last year that I was going to start prioritizing mindfulness. In that area of wellness, I’ve seen some successes and some challenges. In some ways, I’ve come a long way, but in others, I’ve regressed — the phone thing I mentioned is a big regression for me. I find myself with my face in my phone more than ever these days, and it’s a personal goal of mine to reduce that this coming year.
There’s an App for That
I learned a while back that there was an app called Moment. I learned it when I was doing research for this post about unplugging to get more creative, but I never quite pulled the trigger and downloaded it. Basically, it monitors how often you pick up your phone with the idea that awareness around your habits will help you change them. It works the same way keeping a food journal does — just the act of monitoring can have the power to change the behavior.
I’m doing it right now. The app is downloading as we speak. I’m going for it, and my quest for 2016 is to change my phone habits. It’s a free app — I get nothing at all for telling you about it. I’m just curious to see where I am, how much time I spend on my phone (a more specific quantity than “too much”), and what I might feel motivated to do to improve my habits. We’ll see how it goes.
Mindful Intentions This Holiday Season
If you subscribe to my newsletter, you read the note I sent out to you a few weeks back, just as the holiday hustle and bustle began. I mentioned bringing mindful intentions with you everywhere you go this season, and how this simple act can reshape your whole holiday experience.
Bring your mindful intentions to your office every day if you work at one of those places that covers every flat surface with candy and cookies this time of year. Bring them with you to your next holiday party. Bring them with you as you plan to see your family (especially if that’s a stressful prospect for you).
To bring mindful intentions with you is to check in with yourself as you move through activities you might not otherwise be actively present in.
Mindful Intentions at Work
Before grazing the work candy/cookies buffet, mindfully ask yourself if you’re hungry or if you’re just taking something because it’s there. If you’re hungry enough to eat an apple, try that first before going for the candy. Otherwise, grab some water or tea and head back to your desk. And ask the question without judgement. Just ask it and see what comes up without berating yourself when you find out the answer.
Mindful Intentions at the Holiday Party
When you prepare for a holiday party, offer to bring something that you know you’ll enjoy eating that isn’t full of sugar or junk. Be mindful of your appetite going into the party and prepare ahead of time so that you’re not ravenous when you see the hors d’oeuvres table. Do a quick scan of what’s available to eat and choose your favorite “indulgence” for the night — the one that’s really worth it, and enjoy it without guilt. Leave the rest of the sweets alone.
Mindful Intentions at Family Gatherings
As you gather your gumption to see difficult family, notice how the anticipation feels, and allow it to dissipate. Understand that you are the master of your own destiny, that you are a sovereign being with control over your reactions and that the power is yours to entertain or ignore toxic people. Recognize that if you choose to “eat your feelings,” you will only be punishing yourself. And remember to *breathe.*
Mindful Intentions Towards Yourself
And absolutely MOST IMPORTANTLY, be kind to yourself. This is a time of year for celebrating, for being with those we love, for showering loved ones with good intentions in the year to come, for deep gratitude for the blessings in our lives, for our health, and for generosity. Don’t forget to be generous with yourself too. You deserve it. We are often our biggest critics. Use this time at the end of the year to acknowledge the things you’ve done well, to celebrate your accomplishments, and to appreciate yourself and how hard you work.
Thank you for being part of the CWB community this year! I couldn’t do this without you!
And just for fun, Dexter says Happy Holidays too!