by Lisa Wzorek, OTD, OTR/L
It is officially holiday season, which although for many is a joyous time, it can also be a time of sadness and increased stress for others. This year brings more of a challenge to celebrating the holidays while living with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though we have been living with the pandemic since March, and the related closures and recommendations for social distancing, it can be upsetting and unsettling to not be able to celebrate holidays the way we normally would. And this can be harder to understand for our children. Spending time with our immediate families on some mindfulness activities can help alleviate the stress we are feeling. Doing a stroll around the internet, I found a variety of activities and resources that may satisfy this need to take some breathes, acknowledge how we all are feeling, and find the gratitude in what we do have in this time of pandemic. One of my favorite mindfulness activities this time of year is taking an after-dark walk in the neighborhood to enjoy the lights and decorations that people have put up. Bundle up, make some hot cocoa and grab flashlights for this activity with your family. Wishing all a safe, healthy and peaceful holiday season!
Christmas-related Mindfulness Activities:
- From the website Counselor Keri, follow the link for instructions and activities. I like the breathing exercise called Breathe Like Santa, the listening activity called Shake the Bells, and make your own snow globe or a “snow” mindfulness jar. https://www.counselorkeri.com/2019/11/29/christmas-mindfulness-activities/
- From the blog Education’s Voice, follow this link for activities and instructions. I like the
Christmas Advent Chain and the YouTube links to Christmas meditation music, which are listed below:
Hanukkah-related Mindfulness Activities:
- From Stress Free Kids, follow this link for activities such as a Light the Menorah medication: https://stressfreekids.com/13199/hanukkah-with-kids/
- From Kids Yoga Stories, follow this link for a Hanukkah-inspired yoga activity: https://www.kidsyogastories.com/hanukkah-yoga/:
- On this webpage by Swami Mommi, this is a great article about teaching about diversity and a variety of mindful Hanukkah activities:
- This link has a free, printable Menorah coloring page:
- This link contains a simple craft activity, making a paper plate Menorah:
Kwanzaa-Related Mindfulness Activities:
- If you celebrate Kwanzaa or would like to learn what Kwanzaa is about, check out this website that discusses the five traditions of Kwanzaa:
- Kwanzaa-related crafts and information at this website. I like the Kwanzaa wreath using hand cut outs and the Kinara place mat.
- Other link for Kwanzaa crafts and information. I like the crafts using corn kernals and the African drum idea: