Meditative Moments: Taking Time for Yourself This December

The holiday season can be a magical time of year, full of festivities and traditions that bring loved ones together. However, it can also be an incredibly stressful time as we juggle commitments and try to fit everything into the last few weeks of the year. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle, it’s important to pause and remember to take care of yourself – here are some tips on how to prioritize your mental health during this busy month.  

First, take note of what’s important to you. What matters most to you during this holiday season? Is it spending quality time with family? Volunteering in your community? Or getting out and doing something fun with your friends? Knowing what activities bring the most joy to your life will help you prioritize your time accordingly. 

Second, create boundaries between work and home life. Our jobs can bring additional obligations and stress as we approach the end of the calendar year. While it can be tempting to overextend yourself, try not to let work intrude on your personal life by setting reasonable hours for completing tasks and projects. This way you can enjoy quality time with your family and friends without feeling like you are neglecting other areas in your life.

Finally, don’t forget to breathe! Even though it may be hard to find moments to yourself this season, remember that taking a few deep breaths can help ground us in the present moment and make us more aware of our current state – both mentally and physically. Try taking some mindful breaths as an opportunity to pause and recharge throughout your day. 

To that end, below is a list of guided meditations that can be done in the car between stops on your shopping list, during a break or lunch hour, or at the beginning or end of another demanding December day. The meditations below include two 3-minute, 5-minute, 10-minute, 12-minute, and 15-minute “meditative moments,” curated to help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

  1. 3-Minute Guided Meditation to Reduce Overwhelm A quick full-body re-set when a sense of overwhelm is creeping in.
  2. 3-Minute Guided Breathing Meditation – Relief from Intense Anxiety Gentle talk-down when intense anxiety has been triggered, preparing listeners to re-enter a situation with increased mental and emotional clarity.  
  3. 5-Minute Mental Reset Five minutes guiding listeners to create mental space for calm.  Soft music bed in the background.
  4. 5-Minute Deep Breathing Exercise When listeners literally needs a moment to catch their breath and refocus. Light instrumental in the background.
  5. 10-Minute Guided Meditation for Self-Compassion This meditation invites listeners to reconnect with their own story and personhood, and speak kindness to themselves as they would to a close friend.
  6. 10-Minute Guided Meditation: Be Present A gentle experience to help create calm, focused awareness including a full body scan, with the sound of water and birds in the background.
  7. 12-Minute Guided Meditation on Being Kind to Yourself This soft experience helps listeners to affirm strength, courage, thoughtfulness, compassion, and that they deserve to receive comfort and kindness when they face difficult things.
  8. 12-Minute Guided Sleep Meditation: Haven of Peace Trouble sleeping? This guided meditation can prepare over-alert listeners for sleep.
  9. 15-Minute Guided Meditation to Calm Depression Designed to calm depression and anxiety, this meditation infused with soft instrumentals creates quiet awareness of tension in the body and helps gently relieve that tension. 
  10. 15-Minute Guided Meditation for Hope, Positivity, and New Beginnings Gently coaches listeners to envision a hopeful future as an act of self-care.

This article was originally published by MontCo.Today and written by MaryJo Burchard, PhD

About TLC

The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth (TLC) is a social enterprise company serving the Greater Philadelphia Area. Founded in 1970 by a behavioral health hospital, TLC is an entrepreneurial nonprofit providing innovative education, coaching, and counseling services to individuals and families, as well as grant writing and management services for school districts and universities. TLC’s mission is to promote positive choices and cultivate meaningful connections through education, counseling, coaching, and consulting.

About the Author

MaryJo Burchard (Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership) is co-founder and principal of Concord Solutions, a Virginia-based consultancy firm focused on helping leaders and organizations thrive while facing major disruption. Concord Solutions offers consulting, coaching, training, research, and keynote speaking surrounding trauma-informed leadership and assessing and building change readiness, trust, and belonging.

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