Mindfulness muffins & the Holidays

On the drive back up north, this little blurb from KQED made me smile. Like a lot of us, the writer felt depressed post-election and took to making mindfulness muffins as a meditative practice. She gave baking her full, mindful attention and writes about the zenful act of cooking:

 ” ‘When you wash the rice, wash the rice; when you cut the carrots, cut the carrots; when you stir the soup, stir the soup.’ So when I line the muffin tin, I concentrate on lining the muffin tin. Ditto for when I measure the flour and melt the butter.”

Physicially focusing on each act and detail brings calm. A few years ago, in a period of life change and anxiety, a therapist recommended a similar mindfulness practice while washing dishes: “feel the soap, the water, the temperature,” she said, advising me to use that time as a way to zone out and focus.

Trying to keep all this in mind during this season. The holidays alone can initiate a major stress charge. Throw in  national distress over our new leadership-AND the constant media onslaught of his daily (hourly?) bizarre decisions-and it’s a wild time. Personally, trying to tune a lot of it out. Gotta keep calm, carry on and grow this baby. It’s a lot!

Wish I could say I’ve taken to baking for respite-I’m sure David would love that-but I’ve never really had the patience for baking. For now, trying to stay mindful through long walks, baths, deep breaths, and less screen time. Thanksgiving break was super helpful for cutting back screen time.  Trying to hold on to that good behavior with slightly less social media.

Also, looking forward to enjoying the holidays. Excited to take a full week off between Christmas and New Years. We don’t have any major travel plans and our holiday party dance card is fairly empty. Grateful for that! Feeling pretty pregnant and the second trimester energy surge is starting to slow down.

So, in an effort to mindfully enjoy this holiday season, planning to keep it simple, relish the quiet time, and not get wrapped up in stressful holiday expectations. Will not be turning to Pinterest for inspiration on any of the following: holiday decorating, holiday gathering, holiday baking, holiday anything. I’m sorry-but those pins are just bananas! A few weeks ago, I scrolled through, curious to see what holiday activities were pinned. A few of the the nuttier ones:

Rules on exact Christmas tree ornament-light ratios:


Ornament shaming:


Exhausting (and expensive!) holiday to-do lists:


(Favorite Are You Kidding Me ?? ideas: #15, #23)

Trash can decorations:


(Because can you imagine having an ugly cardboard box-or worse…a trash bag-in the background of your Christmas morning photos? )

And this:


Maybe I’m a total Grinch, but nothing about this is logical. The mess and effort aside-the premise that “kids will never stop believing in Santa…again” makes no sense.

Of course, I am excited about happy holiday moments and am giddy about the chance to see friends and family. This weekend we’re going to a holiday market and I’m looking forward to reading by the Christmas tree. Just trying to keep it all mindful and balanced, merry and bright, the whole thing.

Happy December and happy weekend!

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