Bring the Power of Mindfulness to Your Holidays

The holiday season is supposed to be a happy time, full of joy and good cheer. But if you’re going through a divorce, however, this time of year can be overwhelming. You might feel you’re unable to manage your grief and sense of loss alongside all the shopping, baking, and socializing.

You are not alone. Many people going through divorce also feel like they are merely “surviving” the season, rather than enjoying it. They dread attending parties and events due to questions that may come their way. And they are also pained at memories of past holiday celebrations with their spouse.

You can deal with this many ways. For example, you could attempt to stay busy and try not to be distracted by your feelings. But if you never allow yourself the time to process what is happening, the feelings of being hurried and stressed never quiet.

Consider trying mindfulness, a powerful tool to cope with all the festive chaos around you.

Five Steps to Peace and Quiet

It is a practice of “living in the moment,” and calming your mind by focusing only on the present. Not the potential future, not the regretted past. Only the here and now.

Focusing on the present quiets your fears. Instead of holding your problems at arm’s length, it invites you to instead to accept how your body and mind are feeling in that moment. It helps you get out of your mental cage of negative thoughts, and it stops you from feeling distracted by them.

Here is a five-step guide for Beginners:

  • Be aware. Notice when you are getting distracted or upset by your thoughts.
  • Breathe. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Take note how it feels to breathe in and out.
  • Ground Yourself. Pick an object or a sensation to focus on, like how the chair feels as you sit on it, or how the steering wheel feels under your hands.
  • Acknowledge the moment. Say “I am here in the moment. That’s all there is.”
  • Accept the calmness of the moment. Say to yourself, “All is fine right now.”
  • Mindset Matters

    You may not master this technique on the first try. Some days you will ace it, and other days you will find it difficult. Please don’t be discouraged during the bad days; mindfulness takes practice, but its benefits are worth it. To help your achieve the goal of mindfulness, try to develop a set of attitudes:

    • Don’t judge your thoughts
    • Do be patient with yourself.
    • Do trust yourself to do well
    • Do accept your emotions and thoughts however they arise.
    • Do let go of those thoughts

    If you nurture these attitudes, as a result, you will find that practicing mindfulness becomes easier. Consequently, you might find that you’re able to reduce your stress, and ultimately enjoy your holiday season. Try mindfulness this season. It’s truly the best gift you could give to yourself.

    ©Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation


    For more tips on incorporating mindfulness into your holiday experience, check out these links:
    Self Care During Divorce
    When It Comes to Divorce, Getting On With It Trumps Getting Over It
    The Only Divorce Coping Tool You’ll Need for the Holidays


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