Do you feel cosy and restful? I do hope so. I realise many of us must interrupt this sense of calm by working over Christmas. Even so, I hope that you too can feel that the world has settled to some extent, and that this shift in energy has passed on to you, at least in part. The treadmill hasn’t fully stopped, but it has slowed down.
These few short days – from Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve – seem to be suspended in time, hovering between the past of the old year and the future of the new one. The only place to be, then, is in the present moment. It doesn’t matter what day it is because many of us have nowhere to be and nothing particular to do. We can put off our plans and troubles for a little while longer.
But how can we make the most of this special time for the sake of our wellbeing? How can we remain still and peaceful in the hiatus that these few days allow us, for as long as possible and as fully as possible?
By using our senses. There’s nothing like an interesting texture or a captivating colour to bring us into the present. Certain sounds or smells, like the crackle and heat of a log fire, can bring us right into the now. I hope that you can allow yourself the time and space to linger here, in this very moment, so that you can enjoy it fully.
By journaling our thoughts and feelings. Making writing into an art, with a beautiful notebook full of clean white sheets, and a pen that flows deliciously across the page! Expressing yourself in this way can bring you right into the moment and help you notice how you really are – right here, right now.
By relaxing, either in the home or in nature. Bathing, self-massage, walking, practising yoga, pilates or meditation – all of these can have a hand in bringing you to a more authentic experience of this very moment.
That’s not to say that attention to what lies ahead should be completely discouraged. Sometimes, of course, it is necessary. It’s just that I’m not quite ready to go there yet, even though I do have plans and a sense of purpose for next year. Right now, I want to stay here, in this ‘lost’ space, these few ‘nowhere, nothing’ days. If I go anywhere with my thoughts, it’s to the past, to reflection and contemplation on the year that is drawing to a close. Perhaps even further back to memories where I felt happy and safe.
This is my recipe for wellbeing, and anything that nourishes me is added to the mix! Nostalgia is soothing and healing, and I hope that you too can find time for this ingredient post-Christmas / pre-New Year. The evocative scent of a perfume or candle can help create links to happy times in our mind’s eye, to accompany the feeling of contentment that we hopefully already have in this moment.
There is a place for the past, and indeed the future, in the present moment. Getting the right blend is what brings us to our most balanced selves. And if we can remain here, in this balanced state, for as long as possible, we can attain a state of true wellbeing this winter.