Make Mindfulness Your Holiday Season Superpower!

Make Mindfulness Your Holiday Season Superpower!

By Sukie Bansal-Roberts

Benefits Specialist

We recently invited Lauren Loehning, a wellness and mindfulness consultant, to give a virtual presentation about mindfulness and self-care to our employees. Her goal was to introduce our staff, who work with vulnerable youth and families struggling immensely from the impacts of COVID, to a solid foundation to start, restart, or deepen their mindfulness meditation practice – which can be a real superpower during the holiday season!

She started by asking three simple questions:

  • Do you have a regular mindfulness meditation practice?
  • If not, what gets in your way from establishing a practice?
  • If you have a meditation practice, does it change as the holidays approach or challenging times present themselves?

Having self-awareness about what your self-care challenges are is half the battle. Once you know, you have a baseline to start with. Many of our staff had questions about how to start a mindfulness practice and how to determine what practice is best for them. Learn how by reading the 12 tips below adapted from an article in Psychology Today by Berkeley Wellness Institute Founder, Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

1. Make sleep part of your self-care routine. Think about how caffeine and sugar tend to keep you awake. If you have work-related stress think about how to calm yourself after a hard day. Optimize sleep by using a mobile app like Shleep app is a daily sleep coaching program developed by a team of sleep experts that takes just 5 minutes a day. Find more apps here.

2. Take care of yourself by taking care of your gut. Healing the gut can lead to an unhappy person, and vice-versa. Read 20 Ways to Heal the Gut.

3. Exercise daily as part of your self-care routine. We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is? Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention helping you shed extra weight.

4. Eat right for self-care. The food we eat has the potential to either keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain or diseases such as diabetes, but it can also keep our minds working and alert. Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body.

5. Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care. Have you wondered how burnout, anxiety, and irritability are impacting your daily life? It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more self-confident.

6. Take a self-care trip. Trips are probably off the table for most of us during COVID, but you can take a virtual getaway.

7. Take a self-care break by getting outside. Getting outside can help reduce fatigue,  and help overcome symptoms of depression or burnout. It helps you sleep better at night, especially if you do some physical activity, like gardening, hiking, or walking while you are outside.

8. Let a pet help you with your self-care.  Pets can bring a boost to our lives.

9. Take care of yourself by getting organized. Getting organized is often the first step to becoming a healthier you, because it allows you to figure out exactly what you need to do to take better care of yourself. A small change, like keeping a planner or a calendar on the fridge, where you write down all your responsibilities and appointments can keep your life a bit more organized. Create an area to keep keys, purses, backpacks, briefcases, and coats, and make sure they’re ready to go for the next day.

10. Cook at home to care for yourself. Boosting your immune system by feeding your body the right kinds of calories and nutrients is a wonderful gift for yourself.

11. Read a book on self-care for self-care. A self-help book can help you learn more about how to take care of yourself. Not only can it help improve your mood, but it can also help you to stay more present and mindful.

12. Schedule your self-care time and guard that time with everything you have. Whether you decide you want to go for a long walk, take a hot bath or enjoy a good movie with friends, taking self-care time is imperative. Look for small ways you can incorporate it into everyday life.

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