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Mindfulness: A Moment of Zen for the Holidays

Yes, the holidays are a wonderful and merry time, but they are equally known for the stress it can trigger from unresolved familial issues, financial stress, loneliness and battling crowds who take over shopping malls, freeways and grocery stores.  

But Hoag Hospital Wellness Consultant, Anusha Wijeyakumar, MA, CPC, E-RYT, has a simple tip for everyone out there who struggles.

Take five – breathe and connect with the present moment.

Whether you’re driving, cooking, shopping, exercising or at a company holiday party, go ahead and bring attention to your breath, become present and allow your brain and mind to connect for a moment of mindfulness.

Go on, get Zen no matter where you are.

Anusha Wijeyakumar is known for championing mindfulness and meditation practices for maternal mental health programs, early risk assessment for breast & ovarian cancer prevention programs and breast cancer survivorship programs. She is one of the first people to create a meditation program to be used in clinical research at Hoag Hospital.

Anusha was able to share some tips on how to take time during the holiday season and beyond, that will help people stay centered, dial down the inner chatter and stay positive.

  1. Being mindful can be done anywhere. You don’t have to go sit somewhere by yourself; it’s just bringing attention to your breath. You can do that anytime and anywhere.
  2. Practice engaged listening. This is part of mindfulness. Put your technology aside, stay focused, breathe and really listen.
  3. You’ve got five minutes. Dedicate yourself to a five-minute meditation practice in the morning and evening.
  4. Portable mindfulness. Check in with yourself three times a day, morning, midday, and evening and give yourself 60 seconds to draw awareness to your breath. Bring the right hand to the abdomen, the left hand to the heart space and just take three inhales in that space. You don’t have to close your eyes. Just make a connection with your physical body, which helps to ground you into the present moment.
  5. Do the nonsense. You don’t have to give up scrolling through social media, looking at those cat videos, laughing at the antics of dogs and their owners, or the many dance videos that keep us entertained. But make sure to take those five minutes for your mind and body.

Listen to more tips like these, listen to the latest podcast episode featuring Anusha – learn how 5 minutes of mindfulness or meditation will change your life.