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Mindful Christmas

Mindful Christmas

Mindful Christmas 2019

Celebrate Christmas your way this year, without any seasonal stress. We'll inspire you to create your own family traditions, decorate your home naturally, give sustainable gifts and find time to look after yourself. We've also got the perfect plant-based recipes for any gathering. With our ideas and advice you'll have a calmer Christmas and a happier, healthier new year. Free inside! 16-page 'Vegan Entertaining' supplement, packed with fantastic plant-based party food and alcohol-free drinks.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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in this issue

7 min.
creating your own traditions

Christmas can mean different things to different people. But for those who celebrate this festival, this time of year can be steeped in tradition, rituals and nostalgia. So much of what makes us feel the festive vibe is the familiarity of the process, leading us to often do the same things every year. In the UK, our rituals might include putting up a tree, leaving mince pies out for Santa and eating Christmas pudding. Individual families will have their own traditions too; perhaps the kids will get a special book and new pyjamas on Christmas Eve, or the whole family will visit a particular festive market or play a favourite board game after dinner. Participating in these activities every year is what develops those warm feelings of nostalgia, and carrying them…

4 min.
the power of the post

Communication defines our lives. We spend hours every day in our inboxes, we use WhatsApp constantly, and on average, collectively send 6,000 tweets a second. Efficiency is at the heart of our communication methods but they don’t always feel personal. Where are the thank-you notes at Christmas, the cards to say we’re thinking about someone, and the letters sharing our news? They’ve been replaced with status updates instantly broadcasting our most important life events to all and sundry. Our communication may be quick, but it’s undeniably lacking the personal touch. We all know the joy of receiving a handwritten letter in the post. And when we do occasionally get a thank-you note, perhaps after a wedding or when we’ve had a guest come to stay, we exclaim how rare it is.…

1 min.
writing tips

Keep it short and sweet You don’t need reams of paper – just writing on the inside of your Christmas card can be enough. Buy the best stationery No one wants a letter on a tatty bit of paper. Beautiful notecards are more fun and inspiring to write on. Make it personal Don’t just make it all about you – ask questions! Don’t leave it to the last minute Even the best-laid plans can easily get quickly derailed at Christmas. Carve out your writing time early. Remember to buy stamps Don’t let your festive letters languish in your bag until January.…

3 min.
’tis the season to be yogi

The fire’s crackling, the delicious scents of pine and mulled wine fill the house, the living room is warm and glows with the twinkle of lights from the tree, and we have loved ones all around us – the festive season is here. I love this time of the year; for me it’s a time to take stock of the past twelve months and enjoy the cosiness of jumpers and hot chocolate while retreating from the cold weather with family and friends. However, there is also another side to the season – it can be a lot to organise with to-do lists, co-ordinating visitors, hosting the Christmas meal… and this can make it quite stressful, especially if it means we have less time for ourselves and our home comforts or…

1 min.
keeping calm

COUNTING BREATHS Inhale for the count of three, then exhale for the count of three, gradually increasing the count after a few rounds. Slowing down your breath and counting disengages your fight-or-flight mode and promotes the calming of your nervous system. This is a good exercise for when you feel overwhelmed. AWARENESS MEDITATION Find a calm place to sit or lie down before bringing your attention to the sounds around you, starting with the furthest sound you can hear. Bring this awareness of sound closer and closer until it is simply you and the sound of your breath. Then relax and stay for a few easy breaths. Slowly, bring your attention back to your surroundings for a calming and centring effect. This meditation can have the power to make you stop for a…

4 min.
my green christmas

Whether it’s with traditional holly and ivy, winter displays from a florist or a poinsettia from the supermarkets, most people decorate their homes with some form of evergreenery at Christmas. But what compels us to decorate our homes with leaves? As autumn progresses into winter, the hours of daylight dwindle and darkness prevails for most of the time; plants are dying back into the earth and trees are shedding their leaves like colourful poignant rain. All around are dry husks, sere stalks and stiff leaves. It’s not surprising that our early ancestors should have felt some measure of seasonal alarm… The pre-Christians perceived divinity in the world of plants and nature. Most of the growing things around them – deciduous trees, plants and pastures – lost their leaves in the autumn…