Creating a relaxed atmosphere during the holidays

meg durkin

from SSC yoga specialist Meg Durkin MS, E-RYT, RCYT
During this holiday time families usually spend more time together with some vacation time and visiting with extended families. These times are usually filled with sweets and gifts but they can also be filled with unrealistic expectations and stressful situations. Mindful activities can reduce the feeling of being “stressed out.” Mindful activities can create a more creative, relaxed, centered, and fun atmosphere during this holiday time.

Here are five mindful activities to include during the holidays.

1. Mindful Eating: There is always more food around the holidays. Family meals create an opportunity for connection, fun and laughter. A fun mindful eating activity could be to put a blindfold on and taste several different small dishes of food and guess what you are eating.

2. Family Yoga: Find out if there is a yoga class at your local yoga studio that is for families. If this is not possible than look for a video to purchase or buy a kids yoga card deck and explore these cards together. Lisa Flynn’s book Yoga for Children also has a fun Family Bonding Sequence (p. 294).

3. Mindful Coloring: As a family get out the coloring books. Use fun drawing instruments like crayons, magic markets, colored pencils, and finger crayons to all color at the kitchen table. Coloring can be very soothing and creative. I like coloring books of mandalas like Peace Mandala by Monique Mandali

4. Be Mindful in Nature: The holidays provide a great time to go for a family walk in nature. Maybe this is a walk on the beach, in the woods or on snowshoes. While outside you could go on a scavenger hunt for things like pinecones, bark, moss, and leaves. You could turn on your listening ears and ask everyone on the walk what they are hearing in nature.

5. Mood Music: Depending on the mood that your family is having, you could play some tunes. Put on some pop music for a family dance party. Kidz Bop music is always a hit with elementary children. Or maybe play some jazz for Sunday morning brunch for some quieter mood music. Holiday music can also be fun to get into a festive mood.

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