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Mindfulness & The Holidays

Updated: Dec 12, 2023


During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, incorporating mindfulness can be a part of your selfcare kit. Amidst the flurry of festive activities and potential stress, mindfulness offers a sanctuary of presence and awareness. This intentional focus on the present moment can bring about a sense of calmness, enhance gratitude, and foster genuine connections, making the holidays a more meaningful and joyous experience.


When we face any type of distress, like meeting new people, being in a new situation, crowded places, any uncertainty can trigger the nervous system on red alarm, mostly our human nature impulses us to react in an unconscious learned behaviour or in others words a negative auto-pilot default mode.


If We feel threaten wether the threat is real or not, physically or emotionally we may resist it (fight mode), we may escape the situation (flight mode) or we may withdraw completely ( freeze mode)

To ease up all of the negative repetitive and reactive behaviour, mindfulness offers a cushioning view to take a closer look at what is being present, with curiosity, free of judgment, accepting what unfolds moment by moment in order to respond skillfully with attention and focus awareness.


The 3 R's:


Recognize

Notice first, Is it physical, mental or emotional or up to certain degree all of them triggers distress. Naming the situation helps us detaching from the event, like seeing the situation from the expectator's view.

Guide all the attention and bring awareness to the body,

You may tap the front and back of the body,

Shake the body to release tension.

Apply muscle contraction & relaxation: bring awareness to each part of the body from the feet, arms, belly, torso, shoulders, and head; contract each part of the body and slowly relax that part, continue it until you mapped the entire body.


Relax

Next step is to create the space to seat with the uncomfortable feelings.

Becoming curios and ask where do I feel it?

Check if there is pain, discomfort or tension.

Place your hands in that area, your hands offer a therapeutic touch. Our hands are a source of inner healing. Wait for the message or any signals that your body send to you.

Breathe slowly and deeply to activate the Relaxation Response


Respond:


You may ask next; what do I need right now that can support me in this moment? Wait for an answer and let the body guide you and listen to the messages. Then proceed with self-compassion.


Awareness, recognition of the stressor, taking a pause in between the acknowledgment and the action is where our power of making a conscious choice resides. Mindfulness is our gateway to live fully and purposeful moment by moment and day by day.


"When we're caught in the belief that happiness should take a particular form, we fail to see the opportunities for joy that are right in front of us". - Thich Nhat Hanh


 

Monica is a wife and mother of two teenagers. Passionate founder of Zazen Meditation & Self-care Studio. She is a firm believer in the physical and spiritual healing of meditation. Monica shares her passion by empowering individuals in her community, facilitating workshops in Mindfulness, Holistic self-care and Emotional regulation. 

Under the umbrella of Mindfulness practices, Ayurveda Care, Yoga Therapy and Conscious Breath Work.  Monica empower her clients by offering guidance to alleviate stress, regain physical, mental and emotional balance, facilitate recovery from life’s shocks.

Monica is trained in classical yoga , Ayurveda Care and Yoga Therapist, Restorative Yoga for emotional balance, Healing meditation and Mindfulness based stress reduction. Monica is a strong advocate for mental health in her community to break the stigma. She uses her voice to raise mental health awareness. Extensively collaborates with  non-profit organization, Youth Mental Health Canada. She enjoys cycling, moon gazing and spending family time.




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