Healthy Habits

Practice Purposeful Presence

toddler boy, helping his mom build a snowman

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

It’s easy to get caught up in the mayhem of merriment during the holiday season. Spreading the appropriate amount of holiday cheer through parties, decorations, and gifts can be exhausting and expensive. When we strip away the frivolity and commercialism surrounding the holiday season, we often find joyful celebrations, quality conversations, and meaningful relationships. Add intention to your holiday season by practicing purposeful presence.

While the idea of gift-giving is traditionally associated with the holidays, a study suggests that small acts of kindness, not large or expensive gestures, make people feel most loved and supported.

“Research found that micro-moments of positivity, like a kind word, cuddling with a child, or receiving compassion make people feel most loved.” – Dr. Zita Oravecz.

Human interaction is a more significant expression of love than receiving material items. Yet, during the holidays, interactions with our friends and family can feel overwhelming rather than fulfilling.

The magic of the holidays comes from the small moments — the long-awaited reunion between friends or family, the shared laughter at the annual ugly Christmas sweater party, or the sensation of contentment that accompanies being surrounded by loved ones. When your mind is in overdrive, we can miss these moments. Being present during the holidays means you’re aware of the details and share them with those around you. That is the best gift you can give yourself and others.

Consider reminding yourself of your intentions and values. How can incorporating them in your celebrations help you remain present? You might find value in practicing kindness by giving back to your community through volunteering at your local food bank. Or maybe you spend more time aligning with your family by writing a family mission statement or setting intentions together for the next year. Invite others to join you as you focus on what truly matters this season.

 

References
https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/navigating-social-media-during-the-holidays-how-to-not-compare-and-despair
https://www.hiroad.com/blog/living-mindfully/presence-over-presents-during-the-holidays

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