5 Ways to Stay Mindful This Holiday Season

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


As you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of holidays. I love any reason to celebrate, to appreciate, and to have days that feel different and special.

Staying mindful is important for me during the holidays because I never want the seasons that I love to become stressful or pressure filled.

Here are 5 ways I try to stay mindful during the holidays:

1. Focus on seeing the holiday through your child’s eyes.
toddler in christmas outfit

2. Treat yourself to indulging in one of your favorite aspects of the holiday. This way, you can keep the holiday from seeming like all work and no play.
mother and son at christmas tree farm

3. Take the time to remember the reason for the season. Take moments to reflect on why you celebrate the holiday at all. Whether it be because of religion, tradition, magic, or a mixture of reasons, quiet, thoughtful moments dedicated to these reasons can re-center you.
mom and toddler snuggle

4. Think about what makes a holiday special in your memory. For me, things such as money spent on gifts, fancy clothes, and pressure to make a holiday perfect play no part in my happy holiday memories.
toddler sniffs christmas tree

5. Take care of yourself. Sometimes, we spend so much time worrying about everyone else during the holidays (and pretty much all the time since we ARE mamas!), that we forget to focus on our own health and happiness.
snowshoeing and babywearing

How do you stay mindful during the holidays?


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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mandy @ Living Peacefully with Children December 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

This is a great reminder. As mothers, we need to take a step back and relax and enjoy our family during this time rather than trying to make it perfect for everyone else. I have been guilty of this.


2 Christy @ Adventures in Mommyhood December 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

thank you so much for this, beautiful post. I wanted to join this carnival but was too embarassed to admit I was unsure what “Mindful Mama” meant. Your post really helped me figure it out. I can’t wait to read the rest of the posts and hopefully I will be brave enough to join in next time.
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3 Erica @ ChildOrganics December 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Simple yet great advice! So much of it applies to our life everyday really! I really enjoyed your photos, I”m jealous of all of your snow!
Erica @ ChildOrganics recently posted..Mindfully Managing the ManiaMy Profile


4 Kelly December 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Charise you are always so brilliant with getting right to the heart of the matter – and sharing such gorgeous pictures! I love #4 especially. :D Thank you so much for sharing – I hope to keep your wisdom in mind often as I look to maintaining mindfulness this holiday season!
Kelly recently posted..What Does It Really Mean? Staying Mindful Through the Holiday SeasonMy Profile


5 Rachael December 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Do you mean to imply (from the picture) that “one of your favorite aspects of the holiday” is the tree? Mine, too! Tree tree tree — we’re getting ours on Friday, and I’m so excited! Probably even more than the Critter is!
Rachael recently posted..Changing the StoryMy Profile


6 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama December 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Yup! And doing any kind of activity outside :-) I hope your tree is wonderful!


7 Terri December 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Great list with such great photos! I love celebrations and special times too but gave up Christmas a long time ago because when I sat down to reflect on point #3 I really wasn’t feeling any significant reason. So I’m currently working on your #4 and feeling my way into what makes a holiday special for us so that we can find something that is personally meaningful. By the looks of it you have had some special Christmases already and are all set for a stress-free and mindful one this year. Happy Holidays Mama!
Terri recently posted..Birthing the Quiet RevolutionMy Profile


8 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama December 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Thanks, Terri! I’m glad you’re taking the time to find why the holiday is personally meaningful to you. So many people assume they know and never really think about it. Happy Holidays to you too!


9 Ira @ Chicago Home Improvement December 14, 2011 at 10:22 am

Excellent tips. :) I really want to spend the holiday with my family in a way that I am present physically and mentally with them. So I am trying to finish all my month’s work/tasks before I go home to my parents so that I won’t have to think of it during my vacation. :)


10 JDaniel4's Mom December 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

These are awesome tips! I love the little tree.
JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Finding the Topper for Your TreeMy Profile


11 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama December 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Thanks! Baby loves having that tree in his room so much :-)


12 Bibi December 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

Wonderful tips, Charise! Your first tip reminds me of quote by Erma Bombeck I actually included in my post today…..”There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”
Bibi recently posted..Inspirational Life Quotes – Innocence Of A ChildMy Profile


13 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama December 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Love that quote! Thanks for sharing!


14 Patricia December 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

What perfect tips for staying present during the holidays. Though I’m not a Mama, these tips are still important for me to remember as well ~ thanks.


15 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama December 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Thank you, Patricia! I hope your holidays are happy!


16 Michelle December 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Thanks for the gentle reminders and thoughtful tips! Breathing a sigh of relief!
We are embracing the chaos this year…


17 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama December 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

You’re welcome! I hope you have a wonderful time embracing the chaos :-)


18 Kristl Story December 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Your children will remember your family traditions more than any gift!


19 Tat December 17, 2011 at 5:24 am

Seeing the holiday through your child’s eyes? What a fantastic tip! Holidays are so exciting for children,. I will have to give this a go!
Tat recently posted..What is your symbol of strength?My Profile


20 Zoie @ TouchstoneZ December 18, 2011 at 3:31 am

Thank you for participating in the Mindful Mama Carnival.

Do you notice a lack of posts on simplify on my blog. Yeah, not my strong-suit. I adore lists like this because they make mindfulness doable. I read them and wish I could think this way. It would make my life so much easier. Perhaps I wouldn’t have to work so hard at being mindful all the time (and maybe I would succeed more often)

And number 5 is one I forget all the time, but I don’t feel alone in that one is for sure ;)
Zoie @ TouchstoneZ recently posted..I Let Mama Sleep in the Big BedMy Profile


21 Terri Babin December 18, 2011 at 5:48 am

Thank you for the fabulous tips! My favorite is #5, self care is so important.

Terri Babin recently posted..Introducing Fluff Bling- The HOTTEST New Cloth Diaper Accessory!My Profile


22 Timson December 22, 2011 at 6:18 am

Great! I love making most if not all of the gifts I give each year. Adds a special touch, saves money, and allows for a creative outlet!
Timson recently posted..kids bedroom furnitureMy Profile


23 Peter@car rentals Ireland December 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

HI Charise, the photos are really a great way to make mesmerizing memories of the occasion. I usually write down all the stuff about my holidays and festive season.


24 Ireland Hiking Tours September 12, 2012 at 3:35 am

Nice! I always like holidays but people generally misinterpret their holidays. By greeting busy in shopping, as holiday means visit places where you are with your family and friends and enjoying nature, as natural beauty is something which make you feel alive. There are lots of hiking and walking in places Europe, where we can spend quality time.


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