Many of us here at The Yoga Buggy are Christmas lovers and celebrators, and together we’re brainstorming ways to keep ourselves and our kiddos peaceful during the holiday season. Here are some of our favourite suggestions.
1. Use mindfulness to keep things simple and observe our motivations.
One of our holiday challenges is that we are worried about getting everything done, speeding up to do it, and making impulse buys. If we slow down and think things through, we might discover that the holiday season can be simple, minimal, and still beautiful.
Slowing down can also help us to consider our motivations. Here’s a real life example. I have a family member whom I feel anxious about pleasing. As a child, experimenting with cooking, she was critical of the food I made. That stayed with me. Later on when hosting her I would become anxious and overcompensate by making more food than we needed, hoping to please her. The trouble was, this strategy didn’t make me feel better. It made me feel wasteful and no less anxious.
I began to ask myself: am I making this big dinner because it will be more pleasurable, or because I am hoping to shield myself from anxiety? When I took a moment to be mindful and honest, I realized it was definitely option B. Since then, I have welcomed this family member into my home, but made the dinner party my way: with more focus on supporting the quality of the interactions than trying to impress anyone with food.
Somehow, my shift to creating dinner parties with my own integrity in mind means that I don’t even mind if she feels the need to be critical. I’ve come to realize that I am doing my best and her criticism doesn’t have anything to do with me.
2. Do a bit of therapeutic yoga with the kids.
Even if your kids are extra wiggly you can support them to calm the body, even if only for a minute or two.
Kid-friendly Savasana: Lie on one or two yoga mats (or a bed, or anything!). Say, “Get into the most comfortable position possible… What can you do to get even a little tiny bit more comfortable?” It doesn’t matter if this looks like traditional Savasana, a scrunched-up ball, or you and the kid(s) lying together in a heap (so long as it’s comfortable for everyone!) Gently remind the kids to breathe, or to focus on something pleasant. Tailor the focus on the kid or kids in front of you. E.g. “Imagine a ninja, sneaking stealthily and oh so quietly.” “Picture Pikachu, giggling sweetly and watching over you to make sure you feel peaceful.”
Friends, these are just a couple suggestions on how to keep your heart peaceful during the holiday season. Do you have any other suggestions? We would love to hear from you!
Miriam Leo Gindin runs The Yoga Buggy, an organization that brings high-quality, affordable Yoga to Lower Mainland kids and families. She is passionate about providing more access to the wonderful social-emotional tools that Yoga provides. Please support our work! https://www.yogabuggy.com/