With a gift list as long as a CVS receipt and old family feuds finding their way to the surface, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters during the holidays. You’re busy, stressed, and quickly draining your bank account.
The holidays bring about a natural shift in personal space; we allow others in with a more generous spirit. While that is part of the beauty of the season, it can also be mentally and physically taxing.
It’s important to reclaim your space and be mindful of where you set your intentions. To help you with this we have created a mindfulness ritual to keep you at your best this holiday season.
Begin by organizing your thoughts
Getting and staying organized will help find your guiding intentions this winter. Clear out your mind by creating a to-do list for your day, week, and month. Once you prioritize your task lists, I recommend writing down your feelings associated with each task.
Make sure you tackle each emotion you find when thinking about a duty. Buying your niece and nephew gifts may bring you joy, but also make you nervous or anxious because of the pressure. Other more rote tasks like doing laundry might bring about frustration or annoyance.
unpack your feelings (it will help!)
Dive deep into why these tasks make you feel the way they do. With the positive tasks it’s easier to understand and appreciate your relationship to them. When you come across a task that feels overall negative give it extra time.
A helpful tool in turning a negative into a positive is changing your language from “I have to…” to “I get to…” Even a task as mundane as laundry can be something to be grateful for if you think about how it will benefit you. We get to have nice clean clothes and feel fresh.
decide where to focus your energy
You make a decision everyday on where you will focus your energy. With this method you are not only organizing your tasks, but you are also organizing your emotions.
Find an intention
Now that your mind is clear and your motives behind your actions are thoroughly displayed in front of you, it is time to find your intention. When you create a daily, weekly, or monthly intention you are choosing where to put your energy and making a mindful effort to be positive.
how to determine your intention
Maybe you survey your task list and realize your motive behind a handful of to-do’s like buying gifts, lending your friend a hand with her move, and hosting a Christmas party, are all to show the people you love how much you care about them.
A simple intention surrounding this feeling could be, “I will be mindful of directly communicating to the people I love that I value their friendship.”
shifting your focus
Setting your intention is also a great time to shift your focus as well. If you are seeing a pattern with all of your tasks centering around materialism you can set an intention to be mindful of what the material items you encounter truly mean to you.
Many people find that with all the gift giving and receiving it is easy to lose track of the true spirit of the holidays. By setting an intention to look beyond the materialism you are taking a mindful step toward understanding your true emotions.
Clear out the bad energy
With your beautiful new intention in mind it is time to clear out any bad energy from the holiday stress you just left behind. My favorite way to protect your space and clear the energy around you is by burning palo santo.
Palo santo is a dried South African wood known for its spiritual properties and historically used to cleanse a space or being of bad vibrations.
cleansing your space
Light the palo santo and then blow of the flame so it smokes. Then, begin cleansing your space by moving the smudge stick from corner to corner of the rooms you feel need clearing out. Once you have smudged your home, you can cleanse yourself by tracing the outline of your body with the stick.
You can repeat your new intention either aloud or to yourself while burning the palo santo. When you vocalize your intention you give it new life, making it more effective for some people.
Detoxify your body
I like to end this ritual with a physical manifestation of our mental detoxification. I do this by applying a charcoal face mask that is made to pull out impurities and toxins from the skin.
diy detox mask
You can easily make an all-natural charcoal face mask at home by combining bentonite clay, active charcoal powder, apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil into a glass bowl. Apply an even layer to your face avoiding lips and eye areas.
Leave the mask on for 10 minutes and then wash off with warm water and a gentle wash cloth.
This renewal of your physical and mental space will help you stay mindful throughout the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to claim however much space you need and find an intention that’s true to whatever the holidays mean for you.
Jessica is a writer & designer who captures the spirit of her generation. She approaches her craft with an anthropological mindset to find the perspective often unseen.
Jessica has studied the art of the written word & honed her craft over the last 8+ years.