3 mindfulness exercises to manage your December stress

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The busiest month of the year is just around the corner and we all know what that means: endless to-do lists and a debilitating lack of time. Because at work you have to finish the latest projects, you have to buy presents, you have to help with the festivities at your children’s school and then you also have to conjure up a surprising Christmas dinner… and exes not to mention! But with these simple mindfulness exercises without float, you can keep your cool and your heart calm – even during this stressful period.

It’s especially important at this time of year to stay true to yourself and not overwork yourself. Realize that you’re not going to speed up that to-do list by running around with palpitations and busy-busy-busy. Fortunately, you can easily prevent this type of stress by regularly engaging in practical mindfulness practice. That is better for you and better for your loved ones.

1. Focus vs. Fragmentation

Everything that really needs to be done this month can be done in two ways:

  1. hasty, superficial and multitasking, with a heated head from stress
  2. with full attention, so that you remain calm inside

Although rushing gives you the impression that you are making good progress, in reality it only slows you down (due to lack of concentration) and therefore wastes more time than you would like. Moreover, it also affects your health, because your body has to constantly produce the stress hormone cortisol. And that is not so pleasant for all those ultra-refined systems in your body.

Is one of your tasks that you have to search for gifts online? Then pay your full attention to it, without Facebooking and answering business emails in between. If you do one task with attention, you are guaranteed to finish faster. An added bonus is that afterwards you will have a satisfied feeling: ‘Well, that’s done!’

Only then do you focus on the next task, which you also perform and complete with attention and without distractions.

2. Create be-breaks

After every task you complete, such as handling a phone call, sending an email, attending a meeting, or writing a report, consciously take a be-break. A be-break is a short break of about 3 minutes in which you allow yourself to just be , instead of doing something .

During your be-break you walk from your desk to the office kitchen, or to the balcony or garden. Leave your phone on your desk (be brave, you can do it!!) and walk in full consciousness.

This way you give full attention to the walking process: feel your feet on the floor. How your muscles work together to lift one leg first, then the other leg. How your body keeps upright and how your head balances on your neck. Feel the expression on your face and soften it by relaxing your facial muscles. When you get to your destination, take a few deep breaths.

Then you say to yourself:

“I’m alive now, and I’m grateful for that.”
“I respect my body which is always at my disposal, without complaining.”
“This is a special moment that deserves my full attention.”

Only after enjoying your be-break for a few minutes will you start your next task with a calm heart and a clear mind.

3. Focus not only on tasks, but also on people

Of course you want to be the perfect partner, the perfect mother/father, the perfect daughter/son and also the perfect colleague. But despite this sweet fantasy, you’re just human. A person that is extra busy in this month and is therefore guaranteed to drop some stitches.

Realize that who you are is more important than what you do . If you were to perform all your tasks perfectly… but growl and snarl and without any attention to anyone… then nobody would really be happy with your presence. However, if you perform a few tasks reasonably well, but with inner peace, a relaxed smile and a kind word for everyone you meet (yes, including the cashier in that crowded supermarket), then you are guaranteed to be a hit with all people. around you.

Moreover, it gives you a good feeling to pay attention to the well-being of the people around you, instead of getting lost in all those (ultimately unimportant) tasks that have to be done.

Prevent stress by adopting a different mindset

If you lead a busy life, mindfulness-in-everything-you-do helps manage stress and give your focus, resilience, and emotional intelligence a healthy boost. As you can see, you don’t have to meditate to take advantage of all the good that mindfulness offers. By doing your daily tasks with a different mindset, you can start creating a more balanced and fulfilling life today. You can find more tips and advice in Marisa’s in-depth article on practical mindfulness exercises .

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