Time to Reset with Gratitude and Reflection
This past year has filled many of us with different kinds of emotions of worry and stress than we could ever imagine. Loved ones getting sick, work challenges, homeschooling children, and many other pandemic-induced stressors have taken a toll on many people’s mental health.
As we wind down the year, it is time to reset ourselves so that we feel rested and ready to head into the new year with renewed energy and a positive outlook. As we reflect on the past, unwinding and spending time with loved ones and shifting our mindset to one of gratitude can greatly improve feelings of positivity and appreciation, reducing stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.
Friends and Family
Spending time with friends or family, even if virtual, during the season is important so that we take a break from our normal day-to-day work routines and habits to reconnect with those that we may not see or talk to often. This goes for our immediate family who we live with. We often neglect them as we become overwhelmed and distracted with so many daily activities. Connecting with family and friends will improve relationships with communication, relaxed time together, and the joy of shared experiences. Even if your friends or family aren’t physically with you during the holidays or want to get on zoom or facetime, sending a simple text or making a call to let them know you are thinking about them always makes both you and them feel nourished.
Ideas for activities to do with the family or friends whether in person or virtual:
- Bake or cook together.
- Have a game night. If virtual, play a game like Pictionary, Bingo, or online games together.
- Sit and tell stories about each other or places or events you remember. Storytelling is a wonderful way to connect.
- Take a class online or in person. Learning and connecting at the same time brings out the best in everyone.
A Gratitude Mindset
At first gratitude is the ability to recognize the goodness in your life. The benefits of practicing gratitude are endless. People who focus on appreciation and being grateful have emotions that are more positive, leading to broader health and wellness benefits. You are able to cope with anxiety and uncertainty better by focusing your mind on the things that you value, as well as what is within your control. Being grateful can also help build resilience, which helps you cope with challenges you face. And as you advance on your journey, you start to know that even the so-called challenges and difficulties are a blessing. This attitude of gratitude brings us less stress as we see the benefits of all things in our life and not just the positive things that are happening.
Gratitude is easier to connect with when something positive or surprisingly out of the ordinary comes around which pleases us. However, gratitude can easily arise even when we’re faced with challenges. When we are dealt with struggles or losses, understanding the lessons and benefits in the struggle, shift our attention from ‘why me’ to ‘thank you it happened to me.’ During the holidays when spending time with friends and family is a great time to reflect on all that you do have and are blessed with.
If you are able to take time off during the holidays, it is the perfect time to unwind from the busy year. If you need to work, it is important to carve out some time to pause and rest so that you are reenergized in the new year. This is when the practice of Yoga Nidra will get you peacefully through your work. Purposefully choose activities like this that refresh and restore you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Spend time with friends that bring you positive energy and feel confident when you say “no” to events so that you can find space to “do nothing”.
Here are some ideas of ways to relax:
- Disconnect from your devices part of the time.
- Take a walk and make sure to exercise in nature.
- Listen to upbeat or calming music. Chant mantras or listen to mantras.
- Take an afternoon nap or practice Yoga Nidra.
Don’t get caught up in the mania, that you get so stressed and burnt out. Make yourself and your family a priority this holiday and fill your time with joy, thankfulness, and lots of laughter.
Learn more about Yoga Nidra at Inspireliving.co.