Make this Christmas extra special. Put away your smartphone or tablet and pay attention to the people around you. And to yourself! Start working on these healthy habits.
You are the sum of your habits. And that is a good thing. Because habits help us lead our lives. When we do something habitually it almost becomes effortless. We do it automatically and it costs less energy. But some habits we formed over time actually harm us. The good news is that we can replace them with healthy habits.
You are the sum of your habits
“The weather outside is frightful. But the fire is so delightful.” Christmas is the perfect period for spending quality time with your loved ones. We make our houses cosy and warm and gather around the Christmas tree to eat, drink, talk and play games. On the other hand, for some people Christmas can also be very busy and stressful. Especially for those that do all the shopping, cooking and organizing.
Travel back in time and feel like a kid in the 80’s again
But for most of us it is a period to stop working and make time for really important things. Why not make this Christmas extra special? Travel back in time and feel like a kid in the 80’s again. Put away your smartphone and pay attention to the people around you. And to yourself! Start working on some healthy habits.
These are some of the healthy habits you can work on during Christmas together with your family:
Work on your smartphone addiction
Many people are addicted to their smartphone these days. They have more contact with that little device than with the people around them.
The word phubbing is a a combination of the words phone and snubbing. It is a term to describe the habit of snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone. Modern times…
Our smartphones are also causing sleep deprivation. Not only adults are losing precious sleep. So are our teens. Even technology companies recognize the problem and try to come up with solutions to battle screen time. But I believe it is up to us to fight back and reclaim our precious sleep. And that of our sleep deprived teens.
We need to guard our kids against the constant digital distractions that surround them. Our kids’ brains are just like ours and are also not capable of multitasking. They just switch from task to task. Costing energy and making them achieve less.
When we use our smartphone we constantly get little dopamine hits. It makes us pleasure seekers and stimulates continuous seeking behavior.
How about seeking pleasure with the people around you? Keep your phone on your pocket this Christmas. Or even better: put it in a drawer and forget about it for a few days.
Be a better listener
Just think back: how many encounters or conversations did you have in the last few days that gave you energy? Did you feel you made a connection when you spoke to those people? Did you listen carefully to what they had to say? Were they really listening to you and paying attention to your message?
As we all know: attention is a limited resource. Selective attention allows us to tune out unimportant details and focus on what really matters. An extremely important skill.
Practice these five things during the holidays to be a better listener: face the speaker and send your attention, have an open mind, pay attention to nonverbal cues, ignore or mute incoming notifications and make quality time for speaking and listening.
In our modern civilization we spend much of the day in our heads. Which causes us to feel a bit disconnected from our bodies. The body scan meditation is a great introduction to the habit of meditation. With the body scan meditation we scan our awareness through our body. Strengthening the bridge between our minds and our bodies and making us feel whole again. In this article I give some tips and resources you can use. Start this Christmas!
Are you constantly feeling distracted and tired? Throw away your coffee and energy drinks. Exercising thirty minutes a day, five times a week is a far better option. Especially during the holiday season!
How about taking long walks? It triggers your senses, is good for your creativity and great for your health. Be like Steve Jobs, Charles Darwin, Einstein or Charles Dickens. Don’t walk to reach a destination. Switch off all distractions and just let the walk be your personal journey.
Also make sure you get some precious daylight. The amount of daylight we get each day is extremely important for our well-being.
Be patient, be water and breathe
More patience would make the world a better place. We all see those rushed, irritated people around us during the day. Especially during the holidays. In the shops, at the office or on the streets in their cars. I am ashamed to say that I am also not a very patient person. That is why I decided to start working on the habit of patience. In this article I explain how I did that.
Bruce Lee was right: “Be water, my friend.” A calm, flexible mind can adapt to any situation. Stop thinking you need to control all aspects of your life. Listen to your inner voice and know that the thing you can control is your reaction to any situation you may find yourself in.
Feeling stressed during the holidays? Use the power of your breath a few times a day to help you relax or focus.
Do not overeat
Many people think that being able to focus is purely a process of the mind. But it is also very much a physical process. Being a little bit hungry helps. Eating too much doesn’t. The amount of food you eat is very important. So is the type of food you eat.
Eat mindfully. We put effort in making the food and selecting healthy ingredients. Why not put some effort in appreciating the food, taking our time and enjoying a mindful Christmas dinner?
Maybe even chew on some vegetable roots for inspiration?
During Christmas we fill our houses with all kinds of stuff. Which is not great for relaxing. Minimalist surroundings usually help people relax. When Christmas is over and you clean up: take time to declutter. You don’t need a book about decluttering to clean up. Just use common sense and create a few decluttered zones in your house. Safe havens you can retreat to when you want to focus or relax. But please keep all that good old stuff that makes you feel good!
Writing has many unexpected advantages. For me personally, regular writing has brought many positive things into my life. Make a habit of writing something every day and leave a legacy. Start this Christmas! These tools for beginner bloggers may help you get started.
Work on these healthy habits and have a great Christmas!