The season of giving is actually the best time to focus on you

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and in many a house

Exhausted Aussies lay down, resigned to the couch;

Half the gifts were prepared, with still more to be bought,

The stress was overwhelming, and it all seemed for nought;

But little did they know, as they drag themselves to bed,

There exists a method to bring calmness to their heads;

Although it’s the season to be giving, and time with family,

Focusing on oneself can prevent an onset of misery.

Poetry aside, we’re sure you get the message! Christmas, an occasion focused on others, is indeed the opportune time to centre yourself. How, you say? A little something called mindfulness.

Despite being in the midst of hectic mid-week shopping trips, last minute grocery shopping, and finalising family plans, mindfulness can take as little as one minute and it’s especially important at this time of the year.

Laura Kampel, Clinical Psychologist and PhD Candidate at the Black Dog Institute, explained the reasoning behind festive season meditative inclinations.

“As the holiday season approaches, we can often find ourselves being busier than ever before. Not only are we finishing up work projects and attending events and parties, but we are also preparing for our celebrations and buying gifts. All of which means we tend to become deeply entrenched in a ‘doing mode’.

“Mindfulness can help us in moving from a ‘doing mode’ to a ‘being mode’, and to appreciate the simplicity of living in the present moment with curiosity, openness and non-judgement. It can also remind us that we should be looking after ourselves, as once we are feeling peaceful and strong, we are better able to be there for others too.”

The great thing about mindfulness is how easy it is to practice. Not only are there an array of mindfulness apps readily available for download, but there are a few simple methods you can memorise that don’t require the use of technology.

The Black Dog Institute’s mindfulness fact sheet contains a few. As is the theme of this article, you may be short on time, so here’s a handy graphic showcasing their methods.

If you manage to find yourself with spare time on your hands, head to the full version of their factsheet!

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