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Mindful : December 2014
6 Add something new to your tried and true If you’re not as excited repeat- ing the same old holiday tradi- tions this year, take some time to reflect on them and perhaps make a change. For example, if you’re no longer comfortable with ostentatious gift-giving, set a new tradition that limits gifting to small children or create a “Secret Santa” g roup where each person is respon- sible for only a single gift. And if change isn’t required, chal- lenge yourself to try at least one new practice this holiday. 7 Resist the urge to over- spend on gifts Happiness is not dependent on the stuff we possess. Try to think of each gift that you give as a gesture of love. Visit small, unique shops and websites before hitting the big box stores. If you need some hints, take a peek at A Box of Simple Advice on gift-giving (next page). 8 Be grateful Scientific studies have shown that people who practice gratitude are more optimistic, feel happier, and are more connected to the world. It is also linked to resilience— inner-strength that helps people bounce back quickly from adversity. At this time of year, why not focus on all you have to be grateful for and remind others to do it too. 9 Come up with a gesture to center yourself Create a phrase or a gesture, or play a piece of music that instantly grounds and con- nects you to who you really are. Then say it, play it, or do it several times a day or when- ever you’re rattled. It could be something as simple as saying, “This, too shall pass,” playing opera at full blast on your iPod, or clutching the locket you wear around your neck. 10 Go for long walks Try walking in the great outdoors. Even if you don’t celebrate the holidays, neigh- borhoods look so bright and festive at this time of year. Choose a locale where folks take their Christmas lights seriously. Even at a moderate pace you can walk 5,000 or more steps in an hour, and two hours gets you to the mag ic number of 10,000 —the standard we should strive for each day. Convince friends to walk with you. Bonus: Cold- weather exercise burns more calories than warm-weather. 28 mindful December 2014 PHOTOGRAPHS:©ALINAG/DOLLARPHOTOCLUB,©ARPADNAGY-BAGOLY/DOLLARPHOTOCLUB how to live a mindful life