Yes, I know you know this… But here’s a solid tip. You don’t have to turn off your phone, many off us do need to be reachable if we’re waiting for a call or checking in on our kids, but you need to turn off your apps. That’s what is distracting you the most. There is only 1 app (ironically) that you need to download and have ON and that one called ”Block App”. I used this when I found myself spending too much time on social media and my e-mail and it truly was a great wakeup-call. You can choose which time you want it to turn your apps off and when to turn them on again. I would suggest to you that you only turn them on for about 30 min per day for 5 days straight. That sentence got you scared? Then you really should do this. Think about it, does it really matter if you post that Christmas dinner or that selfie in front of the tree? Really…? I’m not putting any value in this question, saying that it’s right or wrong. I’m merely asking because many times there are things more important to you but in the midst of all the distractions and your subconscious habits, you tend to neglect them. Prioritize the real moments this Christmas. Let your eyes take the front row seat. Dare to stop your instinct to grab that phone whenever there’s a some funny, loving or spontaneous thing happening. Trust that your own memories will be enough to appreciate and remember that moment. Be here in life. Real life. Take this time to forget about your phone, disconnect from it, so that you can make space to connect with the people that matter right here. In life. With the people you love. What’s scary about that, right?
Sounds easy huh? Well, for some people it’s not. Our ”monkey minds” are more often than not in a constant chatter and especially around Christmas people tend to get more stressed than ever. Heart attacks actually increase during the holidays which is both sad and alarming, but it's not immune to change. Stop. Pause. Breathe. Whatever you’re stressing about I promise you, it’s not worth you giving up your smile, your energy, your gratitude or your joy. You have a choice. You do. Whatever problem you believe that you have to solve, if you really insist on it, it’s still gonna be there even after you have taken a few moment to sit down and breathe. You have Nothing to loose, except maybe loosing a few problems because somehow you sort of forgot about them while you were taking those breaths, which really isn’t such a bad thing after all. Right? Just sit your butt down, put your headphones in (if there’s distractions around you) and just breathe in for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 2 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds. Just do that for 10 minutes, that’s all. Preferable do it in the morning before you start doing anything else. Breathe, think about 3 things that you’re grateful for and set your intentions for the day. How do you want to feel? How do you see yourself when you’re happy and full of energy and confidence? How do you feel when you’re grateful and loving? Great, all of that is in you. You got it. Now go, and be that.
3. Take a walk
This is truly underestimated… Taking a walk by yourself (I do this with my dog) and turn off your phone for at least 30 minutes. Just focus on what you hear, see and feel. Let yourself be amazed by nature, by the trees and how everything seems to just exist in such a perfect, beautiful and effortless way. Trees just are. They are nowhere but here. Without trying to please anyone they are magnificent. Take a moment to feel the cold air as it makes its way down your throat into your lungs filling your with air and life. How amazing it is that all of this is just happening without you having to do anything. Let yourself see the things around you as a child would. Curious, impressed, happy… maybe even grateful? Clear your mind and just let everything be for 30 minutes. You have the time, I know you do. If the ”monkey mind” wants to cut in and remind you of how much stuff you need to do, or haven’t done, or missed, or have to remember… just let it pass. You have nothing to loose, yet everything to win. It’s your time, and you choose whatever you want to do with it and how you want to feel. Enjoy this moment for this moment is your life.
* Bonus tips: make sure to give away 1 ”gift” this year that only consist of your own time. Meaning, make plans to do something with a friend that means a lot to you. Get it in the books and give a piece of your time. There’s nothing more precious or loving than that.