Presence over presents: Staying mindful during the holidays
December 2, 2021
Relaxation, peace and joyous celebrations are the storybook holiday picture. But unfortunately for some, the holidays are quite the opposite. Family dynamics, overscheduling and the constant demands of cleaning, cooking, shopping and entertaining, leave little room to step back, relax and be present in the moment.
We’re here to bring some holiday cheer back into the picture and share how the importance of staying present this time of year can translate into mindfulness on the road.
Why staying present in the moment matters
Presence over presents. While the idea of gift-giving is traditionally associated with the holidays, astudy suggests that small acts of kindness, not large or expensive gestures, make people feel most loved and supported.
“Our 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, like presents. Yet, during the holidays, these interactions with our friends and family can feel overwhelming rather than fulfilling. The stress of the perfect holiday can lead to strained relationships and cause us to withdraw from others.
The magic of the holidays comes from the small moments—the long-awaited hug from a grandparent, the shared laughter at the annual ugly Christmas sweater party or the sensation of a warm drink in your hand.
When your mind is in overdrive, we can miss these moments. Being present during the holidays means you’re aware of the details of the moment and sharing them with those around you. That is the best gift you can give yourself and others.
So how do you do it? How can you help yourself and others be more present? Here are some tips.
Here’s how to practice presence
Presence during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to become a Zen master overnight. Dr. Carla Naumburg, a mindfulness coach and social worker, gives some helpful insight into cultivating presence.
First, cut back on social media to limit your distractions. Second, get plenty of rest and sleep. Third, pause and remember to breathe and shift your awareness to the present moment. And lastly, balance party planning and online shopping with moments of human connection.
“During the holidays, anxiety rises, making it harder to remain present with ourselves and others. However, the power of spending time with another person is a gift we can give at any moment.” – Dr. Carla Naumburg.
As you begin to become more present with your surroundings this holiday season, remember to acknowledge gratitude. The holidays are an opportunity to stop, write down and recognize the things you have in your life. Per the article’s advice, “when we are truly present, we tune into the blessing and abundance of simply being alive.”
Present at home, present on the road
The importance of being present goes beyond the four walls of your home. Practicing presence on the road can lead to mindful driving (which we’re all about at HiRoad). So how can you get there? How can you be aware and present on the road? One way is to reduce your stress behind the wheel. Like we mentioned earlier, stress can be a quick way to become distracted and miss meaningful moments. But thankfully, we’re here. Take a look at these tips for reducing stress behind the wheel, making presence on the road possible.
Let mindfulness and staying present be the ultimate gift you give yourself and others this holiday season. And from all of us at HiRoad, we wish you the happiest of holidays.The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with HiRoad®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. HiRoad is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. HiRoad makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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