The end of the year is a rather special time: on one hand, we might be a little tired after running the 12-month marathon, on the other – we can feel the new energy coming, bringing with it hope and motivation for change. We tend to have a bit more free time on our hands but instead of using it to recharge our batteries and relax, the festive fervor often makes us forget to tend to our needs. Meanwhile, mindfulness may turn out to be the present we need most this holiday season.
“Your reclamation, then. Take heed!”A Christmas Carol
The Ghost of Christmas Past – the yearly recap
Whether you’re the designated tree decorator or you’d rather spend your Christmas lounging on a beach in some tropical paradise, it’s still useful to spend at least a small part of this special time on a quick journey through the past. Of course, you don’t have to do like Ebenezer Scrooge and mentally travel all the way back to childhood – just this passing year will do.
Instead of ticking off your to-do list or dwelling on any failures, think of the things you were able to achieve (both at work and in your personal life – even the tiniest victories matter!), what brought you joy and satisfaction, and everything you’re proud of. Think back to the good things and positive emotions you’ve experienced this year and try to feel grateful for them. It’s also important to assess what aspects of your life need some improvement, what you can work on, and where you’d like to progress. Doing this will help you determine and then achieve your goals for the new year. But before you start creating new objectives, you get to meet the Ghost of Christmas Present.
That was the pudding.A Christmas Carol
The Ghost of Christmas Present – the here and now
This is the most important part of mindful holidays: being present in the here and now. The festive season doesn’t last forever so savor each moment and engage all your senses: inhale the delicious smells, taste your favorite dishes, look over the stunning winter views, listen to some music without distractions, put on a cozy knitted jumper, or go on a frosty walk in the forest and relish the stillness and silence around you.
It's important to remember that in order to have a mindful and conscious festive season, nothing should be forced. It’s hard to enjoy the moment and be completely present if you feel it’s some compulsory chore. If you can, try to spend this special time doing what you like with those you love. It sounds relatively simple but might pose quite a challenge.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – plans and resolutions
Scrooge’s meeting with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was not the most pleasant but it made him aware of changes he needed to implement in his life. Of course, this doesn’t mean you are in need of a similarly dramatic realization or some fundamental changes in your own world – a simple reflection will help you see if you’re on the right path. If, as a result, you come to the conclusion that big changes are what you need, implement them slowly and gently, step by step.
New year resolutions tend to conjure doubts or sardonic smiles – you might think they’ll be forgotten by March. Is there a way to make them long-lasting? According to the research published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, it’s much easier to stick to the goals that make us genuinely happy and bring us satisfaction, than to those we made because they seemed important or necessary at the time. It’s worth keeping this in mind before you purchase that gym membership and feel guilted into doing something you simply don’t enjoy. In order to achieve the goals that truly matter to you, find a method that brings you satisfaction and is, in itself, rewarding.
We wish all our #OAKYFOLKS a very merry, mindful, and fulfilling holiday season. It would be extremely out of character if we didn’t also say we hope you spend it in a comfortable space (not just workspace!) that is well-tailored to your individual needs ☺ See you next year!