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How to Be Present this Christmas

I LOOOOVE Christmas.  Thanksgiving night we always kick off the season with Christmas Vacation and then spend the next few days blaring all the best carols and decorating every inch of our home.  I like driving to see Christmas Lights, making special treats, participating in all the parties and dinners.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

As of today, we’re less than a week away from Christmas!  My cards are mailed, gifts have been delivered, and treats-a-plenty have been consumed.  It’s time to soak in these last few precious days.  And….just how do we do that?

Get Offline

This is an over-stated under-adopted suggestion.  Put down your phone (after you finish reading this). The best way for me to do this is to leave my phone in the other room or in my purse.  In my bedroom, my phone rests on the windowsill every night while it charges.  To avoid checking the gram during our Christmas movie marathon, I just leave at “home base” so to speak.  

Turn Off Your Notifications

I don’t know how you’re actually living life if you get notifications to your phone.  I don’t have a single app that sends notifications.  The only thing that ever pops up on my phone is a text or missed call (because all my calls are missed cause my phone is always on silent).  This is a simple step to take if you’re constantly glancing at the screen to see if the notification is important.

Listen, if someone REALLY needs to reach you, they will.

Several people have gasped at the fact that I don’t use notifications, wondering how in the world I can successfully be a part of the online community if I’m not always “on”.  Let me ask you this….do you have a mom, dad, sister, spouse?  If they’re in another room or even another state does that mean you’re no longer in a relationship?  Hardly.  My very best friend has consistently lived over 5 hours away from me, and yet, we’re best friends. Shrug emoji.  Constant contact is not what makes for the best relationships.

Single Task

You could apply this to the phone situation, saying “don’t scroll and watch tv at the same time”, but I want to challenge you to single task everything.  If you’re going for a walk, go for a walk.  If you’re heading to the grocery store, leave your normal podcast and earbuds in the car.  Listen, I love listening to music and podcasting as much (or probably more than) everyone else.  But, if I’m podcasting while I’m at trader joes, I’m hardly soaking up all the bustle and evergreen smell, and cheery employees, and sugar-crazed kids.  

Single tasking is hard, but try to do it at least once a day.

Close Your Eyes

Sounds cheesy, and I don’t suggest this if you’re driving to grandmas, but when you’re somewhere special, take a second to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and BE.  Heighten every sense other than sight.  We really do miss so much.

Make Memories Only You Know About

It’s ingrained in us at this point.  We feel the compulsion to share every cute and adorable thing that happens in our life.  Aw, “my husband brought me a coffee, my kids are perfect, and my decorations are magazine worthy.”  I’m not saying you should stop sharing all together, I’m just saying that there’s something sweet about making memories for yourself and not your followers.  If you really can’t stop yourself from documenting the wonder of the season, try journaling your experience rather than posting about it.

What’s your favorite thing about Christmas?  I’d love to hear some of the ways you try to stay present during this season!

Adrienne is a Certified Exercise Physiologist and holds a masters degree in Exercise Science. Her passion is to help people find a healthy balance between #IIFYM and #YOLO.

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