Do you remember last holiday season? Did you get to January and swear that you were going to do things differently next year? Well, here we are…

It has been a bumpy road over the last couple of years, and this may be the year that you do a little bit more…or after last year, you might be considering doing a little bit less. Whatever you choose to do, or not do, here are a few tips to make it to January happy and healthy:

Practice Mindfulness

What does that mean exactly? In this case, it means making mindful decisions. It’s ok to pause before accepting an invitation; whether you take a few deep breaths, tell the person you need to consult your calendar or wait 24 hours to answer the text or emails, your joy and sanity will be dependent on your pause and mindful decision making.

Practice Presence

Whatever you choose to do and whomever you choose to be with, BE THERE. Put away the phone, be present for conversations and experiences. I am not suggesting you skip taking photos, but perhaps set an amount of time that you do that, and then put the phone away. Sometimes, the best memories are the ones that we hold in
our minds.

Practice Gratitude

It’s easy to get caught up in “the things.” It wasn’t that long ago that we weren’t able to see friends and family due to the pandemic. So, focus on what is good, precious and positive rather than what you don’t have, where you didn’t go or what you didn’t get invited to. Science says the more you focus on what is good, true and soul filling, the more of those things you will notice and experience. Do give yourself a break as the brain’s default is to focus on the negative; that is the reason for the word “practice.”

Practice Patience

The holidays can be stressful for a myriad of reasons: expectations, loss, financial stress and the list goes on and on. Be patient; not only with others but especially with yourself. The more patient, compassionate and grace that you show yourself, the more you will be able to give others. If you are feeling overwhelmed, snippy and unhappy, take time to step back and check in with yourself. Personal reflection and inquiry will usually provide some insight in to your perceptions, expectations and reactions. 

Practice YOU

Peace begins with each of us, individually. So, in order to put our best foot forward this holiday season and beyond, it’s important to take care of ourselves. Walking, reading, yoga, pilates, meditation, quiet music, a bath… all of these are not indulgences but required maintenance of our mental and physical health and well-being.

Jennifer Yockey is owner of Gather Yoga & Wellness, author of Gathered Truths and host of The Gathered Truths Podcast. She is an E-RYT yoga/meditation teacher and wellness coach and can be reached at (760) 219.7953, jennifer@gatherlaquinta.com. For more information visit www.gatherlaquinta.com.

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