Christmas can be a wonderful time of year but it can also be a particularly stressful one, with all sorts of unexpected pressures – but you can keep on top of it all if you consider taking mindfulness courses before the big day. To get you started, here are five quick tips.

  1. Meditate

If you’ve never done this before, now’s the time to start. Simply sit in silence and pay more attention to the sensation of your own breathing and other parts of your body. Whenever your mind wanders, which it naturally will, just bring your attention back to this.

  1. Relaxation reminders

Use normal Christmas time cues like having to wrap hundreds of presents or making sure the turkey is in the oven at the right time to serve as a reminder to you that you need to relax and get some downtime at some point each and every day.

  1. Move your body

The more stressed you are, the more your body will tense naturally, so take a few minutes if you are feeling worn down to move around. Do some shoulder rolls, massage your temples, shake out your arms and legs and do some stretching. You’ll feel like a different person in no time.

  1. Live in the moment

Focus on what it is you’re doing, whether you’re decorating the tree, cooking breakfast for your family or simply doing the washing up. You can bring meaning to these everyday tasks that you usually zone out while doing if you just pay attention to the intricacies of the job, like the feeling of the water on your hands while doing the pots and pans.

  1. Pause

You’ll be busy in the run-up to Christmas, so make sure that you take time to breathe consciously between all the little jobs you have to sort out. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you feel fresh and ready to approach the next activity.