Holiday Guide to Giving Presence
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season fills our to-do lists with gifts to grab, homes to decorate, meals to prepare and family to entertain. It is only natural that we quickly find ourselves exhausted from trying to do so much for the people around us that we forget the most important thing: spending real, quality time with the people we love.
Time is the only non-renewable resource we have, which means that it is the most precious gift we can give. With your mind (and body) going in so many different directions this season, here are a few ways to pull yourself back to the present moment and spend meaningful time with your friends and family.
Being fully present with others requires getting grounded with yourself first. Whether it is journaling, yoga, or opening up your Headspace app, find something you can do everyday to encourage self-reflection and intention setting.
Focus on your senses.
When you start to feel your mind running away from you, take a few seconds to acknowledge your surroundings. Where are you? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What can you physically feel around you?
Did you know that your “fight or flight” response is triggered by both external and internal factors? If your body is tense, it can lead to anxiety, which will pull you away from the present moment. Make it a point to move everyday. This could mean stretching, getting in a good workout or going for a walk!
Did you see that one coming? Challenge yourself to never hold your phone and a conversation at the same time. Having your head in your phone automatically pulls you from the moment and into whatever email, text message or Instagram post just buzzed for your attention.
Listen without the intention to reply.
Have you ever been halfway through a conversation and realized you haven’t really been listening? We often focus more on what we are going to say next than on what someone is saying to us, which can lead to major disconnections and miscommunications.
Say thank you.
Being actively grateful helps you recognize the amazing things in your life. It is also scientifically proven to make you happier, help you sleep better, improve your immune system and through being thankful, you will naturally show more love and kindness to others.
We totally get it! It is so easy to find yourself getting distracted by the last second hostess gift you need to grab or the appetizer you promised to bring. But don’t forget that the gift of presence is the best present you can give this year!
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