Over the holiday season it can be difficult to stay present and in the moment. At Trails Carolina, we encourage both families and students to engage in mindfulness practices during this time of year to help focus on the “here and now”.
How is practicing mindfulness during the holiday season helpful for Trails students?
During the holiday season, spending time away from home can stir up feelings of homesickness. For students at Trails, staying present throughout the fun activities that we orchestrate during the holidays can alleviate homesickness and can be an important growth experience for students.
As part of the mindfulness practices during the holidays, students practice expressing gratitude towards their support system back home and all of the positive aspects of their lives thus far. Students are encouraged to take stock of the natural beauty that surrounds them and not take for granted the nature and people around them in the present moment. As a way to express gratitude, some students make gifts for each other out of the natural materials they find such as leaves and sticks. They also write letters of gratitude to their parents and friends back home.
What can parent back home do to stay mindful?
Back home during the holidays, parents can engage in a parallel process of practicing mindfulness and emphasizing gratitude. Some ways parents can implement this into their holiday celebrations include:
- Writing their own gratitude letters and sharing this with their child during family sessions.
- Taking time to go around the table before the holiday meal to talk about what everyone is grateful for.
- Staying present with family and friends who come over during the holidays. Don’t let your mind wander elsewhere.
- Using breathing exercises to help relax and maintain focus
This time of year can pull us in a ton of different directions and it can be very stressful for families. If we allow ourselves to be present and focused on what’s going on around us, it can help quell some of the anxiety felt during the holiday season.
For more information about holiday celebrations at Trails Carolina, check out the following resources:
- Holiday Traditions on Campus
- Supporting Parents During The Holidays
- Spending the Holidays at Wilderness Therapy
- Sibling Support During The Holidays
- Keeping Students Warm During Winter Months