20 December, 2021.
Practicing Mindfulness During the Winter Months
Winter can bring a serious case of the blues. One way to help move through the dark and cold of the season is to turn to mindfulness, a practice of removing distraction and concentrating on the moment – how something looks, sounds, and feels.
Here are 5 Winter Mindfulness Exercises for you to try along with a few guided meditations for you to explore.
- Create a cozy mindfulness practice
- Make yourself a cup of tea or a mug of hot chocolate and sit in a quiet, cozy spot.
- Bring your drink up for a sip. Note how the mug feels in your hand, the way the steam dances up from the surface, the way the aroma hits your senses in different ways.
- Take a moment to reflect on the joy a hot cup of tea or cocoa can bring on a cold day.
- Practice gratitude
- Make a list of all that you are grateful for. This list can include big things like health or individuals, acts of kindness or care you have received, or something as small as the joy a slice of toast with butter and honey can bring.
- Do you have the opportunity to tell someone that their support, presence, or act of kindness is a point of personal gratitude? If so, tell them how much they are appreciated.
- Is there a way you can show yourself appreciation – we need to say thank you to ourselves as well.
- Get outside
- Bundle up and head outside for a walk around the neighborhood, in the park, or even a few minutes sitting in your backyard.
- Concentrate on how the air smells, how it feels as you fill your lungs; the way the birds call out or the crack of a twig as you walk.
- Think about how different winter sounds, looks, and feels from the other seasons. Take note of the colors, energies, and qualities you sense as you move through the outdoors.
- Mindful eating
- Our meals change with the seasons and winter often brings hearty foods like stews, soups, and casseroles.
- As you begin to eat your meal, be completely present in the moment. Notice how it tastes, the memories the flavor bring to mind, how your body feels as you eat those first few bites.
- Contemplate how this meal was made, who you are sharing it with or who you would like to share it with. If you can, invite a friend or family member over to help you prepare this meal in the near future.
- Cook or bake mindfully
- Make one of your favorite dishes without any distractions – turn off the phone, t.v. or music. Cook in silence and concentrate on how the preparation of the dish feels.
- Listen to the sounds you make as you peel an onion, use the mixer to cream butter and sugar, or chop a carrot.
- Take note of the colors as you mix the ingredients together or how fresh the vegetables smell when you first put them in the sauté pan.
- Reflect on your memories and feelings, appreciating the moment you are in and the history your favorite dish carries with it.