This time of year can be difficult for people who don’t necessarily like the holiday season. It’s not always merry and bright for them, and they struggle. If that sounds like you, I’m here to help you get out of that mindset, stop struggling, and focus on being present and grateful for the good things in your life. So, today I’m talking about my top three ways to be present.
Even if you’re someone who enjoys the hustle, bustle, and craziness of the holidays, this season can be a lot to handle. This blog will help you focus on being present and enjoying your life at this moment, right now.
Use Gratitude Journaling to Be Present
The fact that gratitude journaling is on this list shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone following along on my journey. I have my own Gratitude Journal, I speak about journaling a lot, and I’m confident in the positive effects gratitude journaling will have on your life.
How does gratitude journaling help you to be present? It’s a daily reflection on the aspects of your life that you’re grateful for. Every day that you write in it, you are focusing on positive things in your life that day. You’re focusing on what’s around you in the present and thinking about what you’re thankful for. Gratitude journaling helps you to appreciate what’s good in your life today, and that lets you enjoy that moment in the “now.”
Celebrate The Little Things
I’m a big believer that when you focus on the “little” good things in your life, they add up to one big thing. Many people wait for big events and milestones, and in the meantime, they miss positives all around them. Worrying about when the big payoff will come or when the big achievement happens can keep you from celebrating the little things and focusing on what’s good in your life right now.
I want you to celebrate those little things and moments that make your day. Maybe it’s your dog coming up and giving you a snuggle when you need one. Maybe it’s a visit from your grandchildren and enjoying that extra dose of love in your life. Maybe you come home and turn on all your Christmas lights and take time to appreciate the joy they bring and the way they light up your home with happy memories and comfort.
Take comfort and joy in those little things because when you celebrate them, you realize just how big of a role they play in your journey. All of those little things add up and create the amazing life you have.
Listen and Feel in the Moment
Listen to Your Body
Look, I’m a foodie. And I don’t mean the health-nut kind. I’m talking desserts, Christmas cookies, casseroles, burgers – you name it. But as much as I love food, sometimes I go almost an entire day without eating. It’s not good for me, and I kind of forget to eat as the day goes by. It’s not that my body hasn’t told me it’s hungry. I felt it, and I just didn’t listen to it. And if I’d listened to my body and paid attention to that hunger, I could have gone out and tried some fantastic food. I could have been present at that moment, and thankful for that meal, and it would have made me feel better. So, the moral of the story is to listen to your body!
Listen to the Music
Another way I want you to listen has to do with Christmas music. I love Christmas music. It makes me joyful, happy, and reminds me of how special it was when my children were little, and we’d decorate the Christmas tree. We’d goof around, dance, sing, and take pictures in front of the Christmas tree – silly ones, and one serious one for mom, of course.
When I hear Christmas music, it reminds me of that joy, and it lights up the moment I’m living in right now. It brings up happy feelings that my memories create in me. I could ignore Christmas music when it comes on, but I choose to listen, feel, and remember that happiness. And in turn, it helps me to enjoy what’s happening right now and be present.
Take it All In
This time of year can feel a bit crazy. You’re running around and doing all kinds of things for everyone else, and you might ignore what’s going on around you. I love Christmas decorations and lights. I enjoy seeing all the houses lit up and all the holiday light drive-thrus and walk-thrus that are going on. Taking in those sights reminds me of what I love about this season: the beauty of what’s around me. I could walk by those things and not care. But when I see Christmas celebrations in full swing, it reminds me to be present and find joy.
Feel the Love Around You
This year is a bit different for many of us, and we might not spend as much time with family over the holidays as usual. Or, maybe not all at the same time. So when you do get to be with the people you love, I want you to be present in the moment and feel their presence. Soak up that happiness and the joy it gives you to be with them. Cherish that moment because someday it will be a memory. You can’t fully appreciate that memory if you’re not present in the moment to enjoy it in the first place.
Those are my top three ways to be present. I know that in this blog, I gave you a lot of season-specific examples, but you can use these tips to be present and enjoy living in the moment throughout the year.
And, because it’s Christmas, I’m giving you one bonus tip! I want you to try being present by listening without wanting to respond. You heard that right! Some of us listen to others and just wait for our chance to say what we want to say. When we do that, we miss what people are really saying, and you’re not fully taking in what they’re sharing at that moment. So this month, I want you to listen without thinking about how what someone is saying affects you. Hear them, take it in, sense it, enjoy it, and appreciate what they have to say. When you do, you’ll be fully present in that moment.
Take care of yourself!
Live your best life,