This year seems to have whizzed past in a blur. Suddenly, it’s December and I’m digging out Christmas decorations feeling like I’ve only just put them back in the loft. Thankfully, I can understand why the time has passed so frighteningly quickly – I’ve been a very busy bee this year…it’s been fun, but hectic.

As part of my coaching practice, I’ve been reflecting on the need to be truly ‘present’ as a coach – listening actively, focused on what’s being said (or not said), and very importantly, being undistracted by the scattered thoughts of a busy brain. This ‘present’ state has strong links to the concept of mindfulness.

The Mental Health Foundation defines mindfulness as: ‘a way of paying attention to the present moment…It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that we’re better able to manage them’. It’s been shown to help with concentration, stress and anxiety, as well as mental and physical health.

Mind offer some great tips on how to be mindful – I really like the idea of simply stopping to notice things (feelings, sensations, thoughts), enjoying life’s little gifts a bit more and finding triggers to help us do this.

An example ‘trigger’ of mine is Johnson’s baby shampoo. Taking care of the constant needs of small children does not a mindful-mum make. However, when we’re snuggled up on the sofa, one under each arm in a rare moment of quiet, I bend down and sniff their heads. Now, I know that might sound a bit weird, but that smell grounds me; it makes me stop and just be, sitting on the sofa….sniffing them. Goodness me, I sound odd.

As an early resolution I’m going to try to live more in the (Christmas) present, to simplify life a bit and stop to enjoy the moment.

So, here’s this month’s call to action: have a wonderful Christmas, everyone.