by CASSIE MCINTYRE
As the temperature keeps dropping and the days grow shorter it’s easy to forget about the important things in life. From running around, trying to keep to schedules, holiday shopping, and holiday eating, our stress levels are through the roof. Many of us are so concerned with finding the perfect holiday gift, we forget about the most powerful present we can give, presence.
It’s true when people say, “Time is of the essence.” Making time for loved ones this holiday, and throughout the year, is the best gift you can give someone since most of the time we are buried in our phones and more fulfilled with the amount of “likes” we can get on our social media pages than the amount of memories we can make by living in the moment. With yoga, we are taught the idea of mindfulness and it’s a key part in creating that overall sense of balance we need to live a happy and full life. A healthy life during the holidays doesn’t always mean just eating healthy it also means having a healthy mind. With Mindfulness being a key player in our everyday lives here are some ways we can all be a little more present this holiday season.
Make the time to spend your holiday with loved ones. A lot of us have family from all over the country and I’m sure some of us only get to see certain aunts, uncles, or cousins during the holiday seasons. I know sometimes family can be a bit overwhelming and might even look like the beginning scene to the movie “Home Alone” but take the time to make some memories with your family. Be present in the moment. Put the cell phones away so you’re not tempted to go onto social media. Take the time to catch up with family and friends and make that moment together mean something.
Create a new tradition. Maybe this year, go outside and play in the snow. I’m not saying you have to go outside and throw snowballs at each other or build a snowman. There are plenty of community events to check out in your home town and the surrounding cities. For example, there are plenty of community events for a “Santa’s Workshop” or “Holiday Happenings” perfect for kids and adults to go create a new family tradition. Craft fairs are huge this time of year and a great place to go for holiday treats and fun homemade gifts. If you’re a sucker for holiday lights there are plenty of places to go and see them like Lake Compounce’s Holiday Lights in Bristol, The Festival of Silver Lights at Hubbard Park, the Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, and Lantern Light Tours at Mystic Seaport. Not to mention all the amazing lights in some of the surround neighborhoods. So why not take a drive, or a brisk walk, around your neighborhood and see what else is outside besides snow. There are plenty of activities to go do with your family or friends so don’t be afraid to initiate an outing with everyone.
Overall, the holidays should be about being in the moment and making memories. Don’t stress over the decorations or the gifts. Family and friends are what the holidays are all about. Make a memory and be merry this holiday. Give the gift of presence.
Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach. She works at LA Fitness.