When it comes to the holiday season, there’s more to it than just drinking and partying. The year-end and start of a new year can also be a time for reflection, an opportunity for you to re-consider some of your priorities in life, and how you would like to set yourself up for success in the new year.
This is especially true at a time like this when there may not be a lot of parties to go to, thanks to social distancing regulations. For many of us, this year has also been a tough year, full of unexpected changes we may not have been mentally or emotionally prepared for.
To begin this process of reflection, we start by creating and feeling a sense of groundedness. What groundedness means is simply a sense of taking stock, of connecting with your mind and emotions, and locating yourself in the present moment.
Here are five things you can do to start this process:
1. Take time out for a gratitude practice
Often in life, we find ourselves hankering after material objects, like the latest iPhone or that new work bag. Sometimes it can be physical, like getting bigger muscles, or looking more youthful. A gratitude practice reminds us that we don’t really need all these things to feel content or happy.
To begin your practice, simply close your eyes and think about the things you have that you are grateful for. It can be your health, your job, your family, or even the fact that you have five working senses that allow you to partake and enjoy the beautiful world around you.
When we pause to consider what we are grateful for, it also helps us to find ourselves back to the present reality, instead of considering past mistakes, or what we hope to gain in the future. Staying rooted in the present is one of the best ways to feel grateful for the mere fact that we are alive.
2. Go for a walk in nature
One of the best ways to feel grounded is to take a walk in nature. When you walk among nature, you are reminded of how a different perspective on time can change how we feel about certain things.
Thinking about the trees’ leaves, for example, can remind us of transience, and how important it is to treasure what we have. When we think about the trees’ roots, we are reminded of the importance of bonds, and connections. Our roots hold us to the ground, but also provides us sustenance to grow and flourish.
There is plenty of wisdom in nature for us to consider, if we simply let ourselves observe.
3. Practise mindful eating
This is a good way to practise mindfulness – and watch your waistline at the same time! So often we allow ourselves to indulge when it comes to the holidays, and sometimes the consequences of that are overeating and overdrinking. You know you’ve had too much when not a few hours later, you’re either complaining of an upset stomach or hurling your guts out in the bathroom.
When we eat mindfully, we take our time and allow ourselves to join the food more. It also helps with digestion, keeps us full with less food, and promotes healthy habits around eating and socialising.
4. Create a list goals for 2021
When you’re feeling centered, take some time to be on your own and create a list of goals for 2021. This doesn’t have to be a comprehensive list, and feel free to be as specific or as vague as you need the list to be.
The idea here is not so much to create a to-do list, but to chart the direction you want to go in.
Writing down your goals will allow you to free up some of that mental debris, so that you can visualise some of the things that you want to achieve and accomplish. Writing also helps you to track your progress, so that when you check them off, you can feel a sense of accomplishment, and keep going.
Another great way to stay accountable is to do this with a friend, so you can motivate each other throughout the next 12 months. Come back every few months to your list, to see if it needs updating, and if your spent energy and efforts are in alignment with the goals you set for yourself.
I wrote about this last week, so tap here if you would like some tips on how to get started. Meditation can be a powerful force to help you stay grounded and connect with your innermost feelings and desires.
By encouraging quiet time and stillness, we can gently coax our deep feelings to the surface of our consciousness. Sometimes, you have to quiet down your brain enough, in order to hear what’s in your heart. It is a great way to become more aware and learn about ourselves as we prepare to start a fresh year in 2021.