Tuesday 27 September 2016

Be mindful of shopping stress

Published 01/12/2015 | 02:30

Jedward launch the Alone Christmas campaign with Patricia Stanley from Rathfarnham, Dublin. Alone is highlighting the isolation and loneliness for older people around Christmas, calling on the public to 'Share your Presence' with anoyone who may be isolated or lonely this holiday season. Photo: Sam Boal.
Jedward launch the Alone Christmas campaign with Patricia Stanley from Rathfarnham, Dublin. Alone is highlighting the isolation and loneliness for older people around Christmas, calling on the public to 'Share your Presence' with anoyone who may be isolated or lonely this holiday season. Photo: Sam Boal.

It might be difficult but you can get more out of Christmas shopping by practising mindfulness.

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That's the message from Debbie Van Tonder, Clinical Nurse Manager at St Patrick's Mental Health Services in Dublin, who says: "In the run up to Christmas, many people find themselves swept away and overwhelmed by the presents, the cooking, the wrapping, the decorating. But by attempting to take a more mindful approach to festivities, stress levels can be hugely reduced."

She said mindfulness comes from a belief of "living in the moment".

* Make a mindful list: Instead of writing the usual 'to do' list that will inevitably include some needless activities, it may be a good idea to sit quietly and ask yourself what activities are going to benefit and nurture ourselves and others, and what activities are more avoidable. Focus on what matters.

* Mindful shopping: Mindfulness accepts that some experiences are unpleasant, including Christmas queues. See if you can become aware of your reactions when something holds up your progress. Take a moment to ask yourself:

What is going through my mind?

What sensations are there in my body?

What emotional reactions and impulses am I aware of?

* Walk: Physical activity lifts your mood and can reduce stress. Go for a walk and pay attention to the sights, sounds at this time.

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