Presence Not Presents: 10 Tips for Holiday Mindfulness

​​​​​​​The holiday season is in full swing…work parties, shopping expeditions, family get-togethers. It “should” all be so very festive, but this non-stop overstimulating month can cause even the most mindful of folks to hit autopilot or multi-task themselves out of merriment.

​​​​​​​Instead of falling into this trap of December becoming a numbing blur of calories, hollow rituals, and superficial conversations, wouldn’t it be wonderful to really savor the sights, sounds, tastes, and connections of the season? We can make this happen by practicing just a little holiday mindfulness this season.

Below are 10 simple ideas (including a guided meditation download from yours truly) for helping you practice holiday mindfulness during this holiday season. I suggest you commit to tackling one mindful activity each day this month to help bring you back home to the here and now and all the presents/presence it contains…


10 Tips for Holiday Mindfulness:

1. Conscious Eating –

Instead of mindlessly ingesting the treat tray, try eating one item slowly and consciously. Take the time to smell its aroma before you take a bite and then with each chew really explore the taste and texture in your mouth.

2. Little Teachers –

Small kids are DELIGHTED by this time of year. When you interact with little ones this season, tune into their energy of wonder and enthusiasm, and actually try embodying it yourself! Connect to how it feels to be that present.

3. Breath Breaks –

Set a reminder (with a pleasant ping) to go off on your smartphone every couple of hours. When it does, STOP, take a deep breath, and tune in to the moment. Exhale and let go into your body. Your breath is one of your simplest and most effective tools for coming back to the present.

4. Mindful Exchanges 

Avoid checking out during convos at holiday gatherings… Take a moment to really tune into the energy of your Uncle John or Mae from accounting and then listen to them like they’re your greatest teacher in that moment. Focus completely on what they’re communicating instead of what you’re going to say next (you know what I’m talking about!)

5. Yoga –

Trade in a shopping trip for a yoga class. This moving meditation helps anchor you in your body which, in turn, anchors you in the moment. There are also so many awesome free yoga videos online if you don’t feel like braving the cold. Yoga with Adriene is one of my faves!​​​​​​​

grinch6. Reality Check 

Whenever you find yourself stressing over how you’re going to get it all done, stop and ask yourself: “Am I in grave danger right now?” Take a moment to really practice holiday mindfulness and realize that despite the panic cues of your body, you most likely aren’t. Then ask yourself: “What is so right now?” Take note that you are probably in a relatively safe place surrounded by a lot of abundance and nothing is trying to kill you. 😉

7. Music Appreciation

Put on some holiday music today and make it your sole focus for a bit (not just background for cleaning, walking, reading, etc.) Breathe the music in and really feel it. Bonus points for singing along on the top of your lungs! This is one of my favorite ways for practicing holiday mindfulness.

8. Wake-up Walk

If you feel like you’re falling into a holiday coma, get out for a walk and practice some holiday mindfulness. Feel the snow, ice, or solid ground beneath your feet with each step, be conscious of the crisp air moving through your body, and look for things you’ve never noticed before.

9. Furry Sages –

If your animal companion is trying to distract you from gift-wrapping to play or cuddle…let them! Really absorb the purring or tail-wagging. Let them draw you as much into the delicious present as they are.

10. Meditation – 

A few minutes of meditation a day is a powerful safeguard against sleepwalking through the holiday season. If you’d like a little assistance getting started, I recorded this 9-minute Presence Check-In to help you. ** CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to this simple guided meditation to help bring you back to the moment.  My gift to you…  xo

Happy Holidays, Dear One!


“The mind is like a butterfly that flits from one flower to the next. Seldom do we find ourselves nestled in the exquisite and eternal ocean of here and now.” – Denise Linn

Holiday List

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I’m Kimberly and I’m a coach for changemakers. 

I help leaders, activists, healers, and mission-driven entrepreneurs who want to make a bigger difference in the world do the transformative inner work and build the high performance habits and strategies to make them unstoppable.

I’m also a passionate world citizen & a director with Animal Justice & Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank.

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