This post will help not just those who have the added stress of infertility, but for every one who wishes to not get too caught up in the enormous amount of busyness that has come to define the holiday season. Not only do you have the stress of shopping and finding that perfect gift, but added traffic, deadlines and holiday planning. During the holidays people love to tell stories and give updates about their children, and what seems like hundreds of Christmas cards with smiling, happy families and adorable babies fill your mailbox, all of which can be incredibly painful. One of the best ways to help survive the stress, heartbreak and tensions throughout the holidays, and any stressful situation for that matter, is to stay in the moment, as much as possible.
1. A simple practice. Take a fruit — an apple, a pear, a peeled banana or kiwi, some berries — and eat them mindfully. Slowly. Take a small bite, and really experience it. Feel the texture in your mouth. Savor the taste. Smell the fruit. Think about how you feel as you eat the fruit. Feel the juices in your mouth. Feel yourself swallow the bite. Eat the entire fruit this way, one bite at a time, really feeling and tasting and smelling and experiencing this fruit.
2. A simple mantra. Each time you feel yourself getting stressed or overwhelmed, remember the fruit. Say to yourself “apple” or “banana” or “berries” (or whatever fruit you ate), and remember what it was like to be mindful as you ate that fruit. Now do the same thing with whatever you’re doing right now — whether you’re out shopping, or spending time with loved ones, or doing a work task. Focus on one thing, and really be in the moment with that thing or that person.
3. Remember what’s important. During these holidays, think about what’s most important to you. That might be your loved ones, or a loved one, whether that’s a spouse or friends… It might be your work — what you create and are passionate about. It might be something else. Focus on that during these holidays, and remember that the rest is just noise. It’s not important. Fully experience what’s important to you, and let the rest fade away.