Author | Photo Michael Voroshnin

5 Mindful Tips To Enjoy An Imperfect Holiday

With the arrival of the festive holiday season (and unfinished tasks still looming), you may be anticipating the moment you can actually start to enjoy the holidays. But wait no longer… here are five mindful tips to help you start enjoying the holidays NOW even if you find yourself in a not-so-perfect holiday scenario.

If you are knee deep in work files…

With no end in sight at work, your holiday spirit may be lacking. Co-workers may feel the same way, and you may even be feeding off of each other’s negativity. Try lightening up the mood of the group with a random act of kindness, i.e. pick up a late-night work session snack. Studies show that performing acts of kindness increases your happiness. These feelings of happiness can then circle back to help combat stress.

If you are oceans apart from your family…

You may have feelings of isolation and loneliness. Find courage to deepen connections within your community. Start a conversation and become curious about how others are spending their holidays–you may find others are in the same situation as you. Create a fun holiday hangout with everyone i.e. a “Christmas Eve” night skate. Additionally, look to digital media to schedule a FaceTime call to be part of the holiday rituals (like Christmas Day’s gift opening) but make sure to treat yourself by giving yourself something you’ve always wanted.

If you are in a long-term relationship and you’ve already gifted every thoughtful present imaginable…

You have been the MVP of Thoughtful Gifts plenty of times, and after so many years you may find yourself less-than-inspired. Challenge yourself to see your partner with a beginner’s mind and fresh eyes using the 5 Love Languages created by Gary Chapman. Notice how your partner expresses love. It can be through acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch or receiving gifts. Chapman’s theory is that most people will give love in the way they want to receive love. So perhaps a heartfelt written card is simply enough for the win.

If you are a social butterfly and have a massive circle of friends + family…

You may be worried you won’t have enough time to fit everyone in and it would break your heart if someone was missed. Try a “Holiday Pop-By” party eliminating the need to make individual plans with every circle of friends. Also, on the plus side, your friends can finally put a face to the friends you speak so highly of. If you still are at a loss with time, extend the idea of holiday meet-ups into January celebrating new year intentions and goals with friends.

If you are permanently attached to your device…

Your career may require you to be “on call’ every waking moment. This can create more stress with the constant flow of messages and notifications while you are trying to enjoy time with friends and family. Or you may be heavy on the socials; head down and eyes glued on the screen–missing the simple, yet beautiful life moments. Consider creating a tech box at social gatherings and experience the holiday with full presence. If you can make the sacrifice for your favourite artist at a concert you surely could find the heart to do so for your loved ones.  

Anticipating a hectic schedule for the days leading up to the holidays?

Try this 10 minute Pocket Meditation, “Master Your Agenda” to help reel in the worry of the execution of the holidays and create space to flow with the festivities.

Natalie Matias is an international mindfulness meditation coach, writer and speaker. She offers a real-life approach to meditation so humans can arrive back naturally to a place of curiosity, compassion, kindness and awareness. For more resources visit


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