Pomerene Hospital Blog
It’s not About Presents, it’s About Presence
The most wonderful time of the year can also become the most dreaded time of the year. Whether you are someone trying to commit to a healthy lifestyle or like most are just simply overwhelmed by the extra responsibilities the holidays bring, it becomes too easy to miss the magic and festivities of the season. In order to prevent this holiday trend, I have a simple tip that can not only be of benefit over the holiday season, but any time of the year as well. Two simple words sum up my philosophy- be present.
What do I mean by “be present“? To be present means to simply be in the present moment, not in the past nor future but right here, right now.
Instead of walking into your family gathering stressed about what has to be done and letting your mind stay there, make the conscious decision to be present in the moment with your loved ones. Continuously remind yourself to really notice what is happening around you: the people, the smiles, the aromas, the atmosphere, the conversations, everything. Your mind will keep wondering off but keep pulling your mind back to the present moment. This will help you to genuinely enjoy the company around you and will prevent you from missing all the wonderful moments the holidays bring to us. Also, just remember that whatever you are stressed about can wait until after you have left the gathering, - worrying will only rob you of the current moment you have been given for something that cannot be fixed now anyway.
Those of you who have committed to a healthy lifestyle have an entirely different dilemma, but I would prescribe the same advice- be present. Often times when we make the decision to eat healthier we obsess over food entirely too much, causing us to either deprive ourselves, binge, put way too much pressure on ourselves or all three. I challenge you to remove the focus from food and place it on family. Instead of unconsciously eating and snacking or worrying about what to eat, take the time to engage in conversation, build relationships and be present. Don’t get excited about all the food and sweets, get excited about the people.
Lastly, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Plan ahead of time, make a list, tackle one thing each day and keep things in perspective. The holidays were never intended for the stress we have attached to them over the years. Don’t over-complicate things, keep it simple and focused around what truly matters. Be present for the holidays and I challenge you to apply this same mantra to the rest of your days as well.
By being present this holiday season, and all of your days, you will receive the most valuable gift of all- a heightened quality of life, eyes opened to the wonderful world around you, a grateful heart and less stress.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Blog Written By: Alyssa Lower, Personal Trainer at Pomerene Kinetics