Written by : Chris Libby 

3 Mindful Habits to Manage Your Holiday Time

There are very few guarantees in life, but one you can set your watch by is that time doesn’t stop. While trying to halt the passage of time is a fruitless task, choosing how you feel about it is certainly within your power.
A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that despite rising income and wealth globally, the stress of having very little free time contributes to reduced happiness, poor sleep and eating habits, and higher levels of anxiety.
“This is the disease of our era,” says Pedram Shojai, author, former Taoist monk and doctor of oriental medicine. “Everyone is scrambling to find time and undo the stress and it is really hard.”
Additional gatherings and commitments during the holiday season can add extra stress, yet it can also be a time for reflection and rejuvenation. In his new book The Art of Stopping Time: Practical Mindfulness for Busy People, Pedram writes that practicing good habits regularly to monitor how time is spent can help you repair “time famine” challenges.

Good Holiday Time Habits

  1. Water Your Garden: Make a list of all of the things you want to do and prioritize. “Time is like water that you allocate to plants in your garden,” Pedram says. “If the holidays are about catching up on sleep and hibernating, then invest the time there. If the holidays are about spending more time with your loved ones, then those are the plants that you water.”
  2. Invest in You: Take personal time and listen to your mind and body to clear “emotional and mental indigestion,” Pedram advises. Once you catch up on “me” time, you can enjoy interacting with others.
  3. Ward Off Time Bandits: Choose to spend your time on the moments that are worth it, and weed out situations and people who deplete your energy. “Become brutally aware of the time parasites in your life and learn to excuse yourself; don’t give your time to things that don’t serve you.” To find “time prosperity,” spend at least 90 days building good time habits, Pedram says. “It’s easy to be enlightened in the Himalayas, everyone is chilling out,” he says. “Try doing it in traffic. Then you’ll know if it works.”

Chris Libby is the Section Editor for Live Happy magazine.

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