How are you feeling?
Ironically, in order to have the stamina to keep up with and enjoy this time of year, we need to conserve energy by giving ourselves permission to slow down to a full pause—complete stillness.
When we allow ourselves to do absolutely nothing for a few moments every day, we access our natural intelligence and wisdom. Our minds become quiet when our bodies are still. We clear our mental blackboard, so to speak, creating the space to clearly see and experience ourselves in the moment. Stillness also relaxes the central nervous system, which reduces stress and kindles vitality.
How do we give ourselves permission to pause, especially during the holiday season? Here a few simple ways that have been helpful to me. Try one or all of these tips to incorporate stillness into your day.
Maybe all you can see right now are holiday decorations and your to-do lists, however, nature is all around us. To cultivate inner stillness, shift your focus from time to time to nature. Gaze up at the sky for a few breaths. Look upon the leaves, a tree, or the horizon. Notice the sun rising or setting. A few minutes of appreciating the natural world is a restorative practice that will settle your busy mind.
Use natural transitions
The days are full, but there are natural transitions built in. These are the moments in between tasks. Use those moments to pause fully, to do nothing, to be still. For example, sit completely still for a few minutes in your car before getting out to go to work or returning home. Give yourself a few minutes of stillness before getting out of bed in the morning and before and after eating. The more aware you become of the natural transitions in your day, the more opportunities you will find to be still.
Close your eyes
From time to time throughout the day close your eyes for three to five breaths. Shutting your eyes is a natural way to unplug, get quiet, and be still. Doing so will create a gap of space in your life that will allow you to step into the full experience of what your life is offering to you.
No doubt it is challenging to pause during this excessively busy time of year. Still, I believe incorporating small doses of stillness throughout your day—whether it is the holiday season or not—is essential to everyone’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
The greatest gift you can give yourself and the world this holiday season is not more stuff.
Rather, it is to find time daily to be still. From stillness comes clarity, ease, and openness. If each of us could access these qualities a few times a day, what a happier place our world would be. The only way to access and live from this place is by allowing yourself to pause in stillness every day.
Give yourself permission to pause a few minutes every day. You will be grateful you did. I promise.