The other day I was sat at my son’s nursery with two of his teachers discussing his behaviour, which, lately, seems to have spiralled slightly out of control. There are a host of reasons as to why this could be but one of his teachers asked me a question that really stuck with me, she said: “since my second son was born (7 months ago) how much time have you spent with Max – just you two?” At that moment it dawned on me that I had spent very little time with Max without his brother/dad/ our nanny over the past few months. Especially also since I launched another business just as his brother was born, if by chance Max and I managed to steal a moment to ourselves, I have been glued to my laptop or phone so I haven’t been fully present with him. So, in light of this (not so new revelation) this Christmas I am making a conscious decision to put my mindfulness into action and be more present with my family, especially my little man, Max. It’s the time of year where many of us get caught up in a million different things, Christmas shopping for a gazillion different people, “Will he like that, will she like this?”. With that in mind, there really couldn’t be a better time to sit back and enjoy some much-needed, quality family time, which, of course, is so much more valuable than any gift could possibly be. Here are 5 ways that I’ll be making sure I focus more on presence rather than presents this year:
Put the Phone AWAY
Set up some clear boundaries for screen time. Spending too much time staring at your phone really won’t allow you to be fully present with your family. Ideally, home time should be the moment you put your phone away. And if you need to you can always check it once kids are in bed or give yourself 15 mins after supper to scan your emails if you really have too! Get it out of sight (and therefore out of mind). Turn off the beeps, vibrations and ding-a-lings. The only bells that you should be hearing this season are those of Santa’s sleigh!
Create a New Christmas Tradition
Something with your partner or family or friends so that it can be enjoyed together. This year we are going to make our own family mince pies together. An activity like this will allow you to be fully in the moment.
It may be chilly but don’t let that stop you! It’s so important to get outdoors at this time of year – not just to keep your body healthy but your mind too. As you go for a walk – in the town or country – take in everything that you are seeing. Listen to the sounds outside. It’s also a perfect time if you are walking with someone to have a great chat away from any distractions!
I mean, really listen, to friends, parents, children, colleagues, strangers – I always find it amazing how I can hear a bunch of stuff all day but I rarely make time to really listen. Not only will you have wonderful conversations but you’ll feel deeper connections – and what could be better than that!
We all know that colouring in has been the mindful activity of the past few years – but there are a million and one ways you can get crafty – especially at Christmas time. Make decorations, food, cards, pictures – anything – just spend time doing something artistic and you’ll reap the mindful benefits afterwards!
words by Sadie Reid
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