5 Ways to Be More Present During the Holidays

Happy Friday and thank you for joining me, Cynthia and Courtney for the Friday Five. The theme this week is staying healthy through the holidays. This is a repeat topic from last year but definitely a timely one as November is nearly half over!! You can check out that post on 5 ways to stay health during the holidays here. It remains one of my most popular and shared posts to date!  

Today I took a different approach to the theme, and instead am offering 5 ways to be more present during the holidays. Be More Present marontherunBeing present was one of my goals for 2015. Earlier this week I did a goal check in and mentioned my tech free weekends and focus on mindfulness behaviors. I think practicing being more present is an important way to stay stress free and healthy. 

Keep a Positive Attitude. The anxiety and stress of the season can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Try to keep a positive attitude about the season and all you might have to do. If you know the stores will be crowded and loud and the parking lot will be packed: give yourself more time; allow yourself to be patient with fellow shoppers; think about all those extra steps you’re getting if you parked too far; hum along to the songs playing overhead. If a fellow shopper or flustered salesperson rubs you the wrong way – simply stop, take a deep breath, count to 5, then move on. Take it all in stride and don’t let anything steal your joy!

Express Gratitude. You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to note what you’re thankful for. This is the season when we share more of our time with family and friends so write a list, join a gratitude challenge or just simply wake up and note your gratitude for things big and small to start the day on the right foot.  

Make practicing self care FUN! For a runner like me the offseason happens during the winter months. That means more time to enjoy other fitness areas of life. My favorite indoor activities are spinning and strength training but I like trying all sorts of new things. If you aren’t tied to a training schedule why not infuse a fun new workout into your routine?! Take the yoga class you’ve been dying to try or even better, take it to the Spa or get that pedicure you’ve always talked about. 

Focus on the Festive! Let’s face it, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a lot of hustle and bustle. Get-togethers, celebrations, shopping, etc can make for a busy time. While all of that can be overwhelming, you can help reduce the stress of the season by using your senses. Savor the smells of a burning fireplace, pine trees, the first snow (sorry, it’s gonna happen!) as well as the taste of your holiday meals. Take in the sounds of the season. Hug your family and friends a little tighter. Simply notice what is going on around you – the creation of memories and hold onto the feelings each moment brings.  

Take time for yourself. This might be easier said than done but even 5 minutes a day can make a world of difference. Put the phone down – meditate, pray, take a bath, read a book, walk your errands instead of driving (if they’re not too far of course!) Out and about shopping? Find 10 minutes to visit the nearest coffee shop and just sit, sip and enjoy before picking it back up again. 

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Do you tend to stress during the holidays? 

More about Mar on the Run!


      1. I am too! family time is what matters most to me. We aren’t big gift givers so that helps. I’m typically stressed very little during this time period.

    1. Seriously, I could hear the harps playing in the background as I read this post. The tone of the writing was so calm and relaxed. Sounds like you’re taking your own advice. #bepresent

      1. haha! funny, most of this writing was done while sitting in classes observing at Georgetown this week! It inspired me πŸ™‚

    1. I stress over the holidays because there is passive aggression in the extended family that is no fun at all. The past few years we’ve focused more on experiences rather than material gifts and it has been wonderful. This year we’re going to be away on a sun-filled vacay over Christmas, so away from the toxic part of the family!
      Marcia recently posted…The Ageless IssueMy Profile

      1. that’s great!(well, not the passive aggressiveness thing) my family is not a big gift giving family and it’s always nice to go home and just relax instead of stressing about shopping or events or whatever!

    1. It’s too bad that the holidays come at the time of year when the days are shortest darkest & I’m at my most tired and even leaving the house seems like such an effort.

      That last one on your list is so crucial — and so hard to do! Especially right now, when the time I can spend away from home is very limited by Chester — I’m so lucky that I don’t work. Oddly enough I stopped working when we got him; it wasn’t planned, but it’s worked out well, except for our pocketbooks.
      Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Ways to Beat Winter BugsMy Profile

    1. I can’t believe the month is half over. I was talking about a race I have on the 21st and realized !@#$ that’s next Saturday. Wait what?
      Lesley recently posted…Healthy HolidaysMy Profile

    1. Great take on the topic this week, I think often times people get too caught up in the moment they forget what the holidays are truly about. I like the points on expressing gratitude not just on Thanksgiving but in everyday lives and making time for yourself, it’s a great reminder that the Christmas holidays are more than just giving gifts πŸ™‚
      Krystal recently posted…Staying Healthy and Fit through the HolidaysMy Profile

    1. Ooh… I love your take on this. It can be so easy to get caught up in all the stress and then the holidays are gone before you even have a chance to enjoy them. I’m planning on trying to add 5 minutes of meditation to my days and hopefully that will be a habit I can carry over into next year.
      Chaitali recently posted…Friday Five – Jingle Jungle 5kMy Profile

      1. exactly. I’ve really been focused a lot more on meditation and general mindfulness. It’s definitely nice when you make it a habit.

    1. i’m looking forward to going HOME. i only get to go back to my hometown and see my parents once or twice a year, so i’m counting down the weeks until christmas. i’m definitely going to try to be present and thankful during that vacation; limiting social media/tv usage and spending time together is key for me!
      brittney @ corral b recently posted…friday five: healthy holiday tipsMy Profile

    1. I like that winter is your “off” season! I told myself I would never run in the winter again but here I am training for another marathon. I’m not running next winter (for sure)!

    1. You nailed it with this post. Seriously it’s the reminder I need to remember to live in the present and not on to the next one kind of attitude. You’re totes goin in the Secret Blogger Club next week!

    1. Love the tip about being festive and focusing on gratitude. It is so easy to lose focus this time of year on what is truly important. Thanks for the reminder!
      Lauren recently posted…Healthy for the HolidaysMy Profile

      1. I’m with you. I tend to get gift certs for people as gifts and/or pick something up online but I luckily my family is pretty blase about gift giving. I love going home and just hanging out in my pjs for days!

    1. Great post! I do love the scents and sounds of Christmas songs. I don’t love all the hustle and bustle. I usually try to plan my list ahead and knock all my shopping out in one day. It’s tiring, but I don’t like to drag it out.
      Debra @HappyRunningSole recently posted…Q & A with Happy Running SoleMy Profile

      1. i’m not a fan of the hustle and bustle but it’s out there. I avoid shopping at all costs – online is my friend this time of year!

    1. Love the focus on being more present!
      I just love the festiveness and good vibes of the holidays. I’m hoping to do some volunteering if possible! I just started my running training so I’m hoping to do more runs actually during this time. I actually have a Tofurky Trot on thanksgiving I’m excited for!

      1. that’s exciting! I Love the vibes of the holidays too, which is why I get disappointed with Black Friday and all the commercialism that surrounds it.

    1. These are all great tips, Mar! Being mindful, taking deep breaths, expressing gratitude. Thankfully, I tend not to get too stressed during the holidays because our family doesn’t do gift giving (no need to go shopping!) and things at work tend to slow down a bit. I enjoy getting out and doing holiday things, but generally don’t book too much stuff. However, I will keep these ideas in mind…and maybe get a pedicure!
      Bradley recently posted…5 Ways to Stay Healthy during the HolidaysMy Profile

    1. Great tips! It can be hard to find time for yourself at this time of year, it’s so busy and there’s so much to do! I’m traveling this Thanksgiving, so this year I’m mostly worried about making healthy choices when I don’t have the luxury of home cooked meals!!
      Pamela @ Lose It For Science recently posted…Weight Loss Progress: Week 5My Profile

      1. it really can be. I think with a little planning you can find ways to steal moments throughout your day. Traveling can definitely be a challenge!

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