Dr. Minotti Cristina is a developmental psychologist who works with children and adults for their personal growth, according to the life cycle perspective. Today he talks to us about the stress of returning and provides us with some tips to best deal with it with Mindfulness.

The Christmas holidays, animated by colored lights and songs that remind us of our most magical or ancient traditions , are about to come to an end. 

For many people, the Christmas period represents a moment of break from more or less intense work, a parenthesis to activate new routines and programs including recipes to test for lunches or dinners and passions rediscovered thanks to the Christmas atmosphere (like a nice game of company in company or reading a good book).

But what will happen in a few days when the lights go out and the decorations return to the boxes in the attic?

A common condition with specific characteristics may emerge. It is identified in a general malaise when the holiday ends and normal everyday life takes over again.

The moment of the end of the holidays can be delicate: the usual deadlines , commitments and responsibilities come back into play.

The days to come all seem the same and flat and attention is anxiously directed towards the next holidays, in a future which, by its definition, is uncertain.

This psychological state can cause stress with very specific symptoms :

Mindfulness can help you!

This practice is based on full awareness and full attention . It is a state of mind that intentionally pays attention to the present moment in a nonjudgmental way (Jon Kabat-Zinn).

Mindfulness gives space to the present moment, to the fullness of experience . It helps us not to deny and escape from our sensations and emotions.

Mindfulness is not a relaxation technique , but it is a process of welcoming and accepting the energy of the present in the here and now .

We cannot eliminate the painful and negative side of life . We can, however, welcome it with profound awareness . By welcoming pain and discomfort we can move from a state of imbalance to one of conscious well-being and understanding .

How can you apply mindfulness in the coming days?

Keyword: practicality.

I propose exercises that I use daily and in moments of deep stress.

1) Work on your routine through healthy planning.

Your programs should follow the division of days (morning, afternoon, evening) with realistic commitments to avoid overloading our system too much and to ward off false expectations and the frustration associated with not achieving goals. Take care of your sleep and nutrition.

2) Carve out time to dedicate yourself to silence

3) Pay attention to your breathing and to what you feel at a specific moment

4) When you breathe with awareness, abandon your attempts to control, suspend criticism and judgement.

5) Connect with the activity you are doing, even if it seems boring or problematic. Even when you happen to be in a queue, try to enjoy that moment without thinking incessantly about the destination to reach. Focus your attention on your body and your surroundings

6) Give simplicity richness and importance . When you clean the house or while tidying up, activate your awareness by slowing down and stimulating your attention: what am I doing? What am I touching? What does the object I have in my hand look like? How am I feeling right now? Do I feel satisfaction from what I'm doing or boredom?

7) Light up your Christmas every day . Incorporate pleasant activities into your routine that make you feel balanced.

My favorite moment of the day is when I turn off my phone and open my book in the living room chair with the soft light!

Now it's your turn!

Try incorporating these tips into your daily life over the next few days.

Which exercise impressed you the most?

Greetings and thoughts from your psychologist!

Dr. Cristina Minotti - developmental psychologist

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