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WELL challenges you to be mindful during the holidays

Stanford's WELL for Life initiative is challenging you to practice the art of mindfulness for one week to promote self-care.

In the flurry and fun of holiday frenzy, keeping an arsenal of stress-mitigating techniques is a wise idea. It doesn't have to be big — it could be something as simple as a leisurely walk or taking the time to prepare a healthy meal.

This idea of reflective self-care and mindfulness is driving a new challenge from Stanford's WELL for Life initiative that runs until Jan. 25. For one week, the WELL initiative is asking you to practice the art of being mindful and complete a couple of quick surveys to document your experience.

You can register for the challenge here.

So, what exactly does "being mindful" mean?

Mindfulness at its core boils down to giving your undivided attention to the moment you're in — acknowledging your thoughts, feelings and bodily senses during any given situation. The key is doing so without judgement or intense scrutiny of your in-the-moment observations. And while that may sound abstract, being mindful can manifest in a multitude of ways. It could mean something as simple as keeping a journal, jotting down a haiku, meditating or going for a nature walk. It's essentially any activity that allows you to put your full focus into what you're doing.

What's more, being mindful is thought to have mental and physical benefits, too. Some individuals who practice mindfulness see a decrease anxiety, improvement of focus and even better sleep, to name a few.

The WELL challenge asks you to pick one "mindful" activity per day and keep tabs on your experience. If you're not sure what activity would fit best for you, don't worry, WELL gives you plenty of tips once you register.

Photo by dorota dylka

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