Practice mindfulness this holiday season


The mindfulness wave is sweeping across the Australian corporate world with many large companies all undertaking corporate-based mindfulness programs. The holiday break is an important time for recuperation in preparation for the year ahead, reinforcing the importance of practicing mindfulness throughout the holidays.

According to Australian Productivity Commission data, while workplace productivity has increased across the board, it is well below what is required to maintain Australia’s high living standards. Businesses across many sectors are still struggling with productivity growth which is often linked with a disengaged workforce.

Unengaged employees can be the result of a number of different factors including workplace cultures and management pressures, financial demands and personal reasons. Often anxiety and stress are the leading contributors. Practicing mindfulness, a state of mind which reduces stress and increases self-awareness, can have considerable benefits to an organisation. It also shows a commitment to employee wellbeing and a positive workplace culture.

The holiday break is a great opportunity for individuals to stop, take stock on the previous year and reflect on what is important; health, family, friends and children.  By adopting simple mindfulness techniques, these positive habits can be in place and ready for a productive year ahead.

Here are some techniques and strategies to engage in during the holidays:

1. Reflect on achievements

The working year can be a busy time and people tend to forget to stop and reflect on their accomplishments along the way.  Deliberation is an important aspect to professional development and personal growth as it allows you to assess what you have achieved and what you need to develop in order to grow and adapt methods and processes accordingly.

2. Take a moment to be mindful each day

Mindfulness is called a practice for a reason and should be adopted as a daily routine. Though the effects on stress levels are immediate, consciously setting aside time and sticking to it can amplify its effects at work and in your personal life in the long term.  Remove yourself to a quiet and relaxed space for ten minutes a day and simply focus on the present.

3. Get a restful sleep

Practising mindfulness evokes a relaxation response which leads to healthy sleep patterns. Avoid watching digital screens at least thirty minutes before bed and take time to check in with your body and mind.

4. Listen

When someone is speaking to you, stop and listen. By bringing awareness to the way we listen, we are able to fully comprehend the speaker’s perspectives and intentions, which leads to higher emotional intelligence and can avoid misunderstandings.

5. Let it go

The holiday season can be a stressful time for many and for some it can be mixed with sadness and loss, which can result in negative thoughts and feelings. Your mind can consider these feelings as truth which leads to more anxiety. Instead of trying to force yourself to fight these feelings, be mindful, acknowledge and accept the feelings and give yourself permission to let them go.

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