December 1, 2022

31 Days of Mindfulness Holiday Challenge

This time of year, it’s easy to let some of the basics slide that contribute to our well-being. Join us for a 31-day mindful challenge highlighting the strategies and philosophies by some of the doctors & wellness leaders of BIÂN.

Day 1

Welcome in the month by creating a Personal Mission for your Holiday 2022 season, New Year or simply the next 31 days - to create lasting ripples in your life? What is it that you want to feel?  

State this mission with as much specificity today and let this become a guiding pillar for the month. (Mar Soraparu, Co-Founder, Chief Wellness Officer)

Day 2

Begin (or continue) your breathwork practice utilizing Box Breathing.  (Dominica Fisher, Director of Meditative & Creative Exploration)

Box Breath or the Four-Part Breath

This breath can be done anywhere - sitting, laying down, or even standing in the grocery store line. This breath is taught to emergency workers (firefighters, EMTs, policemen, etc.) to quickly bring their systems from a fight or flight response to one of rest, digest and repair. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this is a great way to bring the system back to a calm state.

If you’re already in a calm state, this breath is a beautiful way to deepen that feeling.

Method -

Breath in for a count of four.

Hold your breath for a count four.

Exhale for a count of four.

Hold no breath for a count of four.

Repeat the process three times (or more if you’re on a role). Also, you can increase count if you’d like, but remember this is not about challenging yourself, this is about calming the system. (Dominica Fisher, Director of Creative & Meditative Exploration)

Day 3

Gratitude is powerful and effects our neurobiology by activating serotonin and dopamine production. Think about some of the smaller, less thought-of aspects of your life that you are grateful for today - and take note of how this affects you emotionally and even physically. (Dr. Sandra Subotich, Director of Eastern Therapies)

Day 4

Ward-off winter blues by opening your windows to natural light first thing this morning. Take a few moments to bask in the daylight - witnessing your surroundings - and use this simple moment that can support your overall mental health. (Dr. Marcie Claybon, Medical Director)

Day 5

Today, when eating or drinking, just eat or drink, don’t do anything else. Sit down and take the time to enjoy what you are taking in. Open all the senses as you eat or drink. Look at the color, shapes, surface textures. Attend the smells and flavors in your mouth. Listen to the sounds of eating and drinking. (Dr. Ben Schuff, Director of Naturopathy & Nutrition)


Sensory walk without your phone. Take a walk without your phone and be present with nature. Take in the sounds, cultivate a deeper awareness of your surroundings and truly disconnect.  (Kelly Moore, Advisor, Master Instructor)

Day 7

Put your phone down at 7pm. Try putting away your phone (or any other device) at 7pm tonight. Experience the evening with your complete attention focused on those close to you, your self-care, and/or things that provide a deep sense of joy or relaxation. (Zac Walters, Director of Fitness)

Day 8

Phone a friend. When is the last time you picked up the phone, just because, vs texting them? That personal connection makes a huge difference. Better yet, asking them to go on a walk! (Dr. Amy Robbins, Director of Mental Health)  

Day 9

Increase your self-accountability. Being mindful of what is within your control and what isn’t, is a sure way to stay out of the dark waters. Ask yourself today, how you can hold yourself accountable a little bit more towards what you desire. (Tim Anderson, Director of F&B).

Day 10

Exercise - even if you don’t feel like it. Make it playful, recruit a crew, try something different, but stick to a fundamental pillar of your well-being with all of the holiday treats! (Ryan Maher, Chef).

Day 11

Take note of your highest energy hours in the day. Today, think about what time of the day you specifically feel the most energized, motivated, and focused. Begin to challenge your daily schedule and see what you can shift to these highly productive hours, to reorient how and when you do some of your deepest work, and what hours need extra energy. (Sri Sullivan, MD Director of Beauty).  

Day 12

Random acts of kindness. Deciding to contribute through service, random acts of kindness or other means of non-monetary support to others in need, can reconnect you to the depth and meaning of what the holidays symbolize. While this supports someone else, it directly impacts you in a positive way. (Think of the smallest of gesture that you can do today with someone you don’t typically interact with and observe the magic of this! (Mar Soraparu, Co-Founder, Chief Wellness Officer)

Day 13

Meditation Challenge: “Isn’t that interesting” - Noticing thoughts without judgment.

This meditation is to be done somewhere quiet, while sitting or laying down.  

Method -

To start set a timer for either three or five minutes then get into a comfortable position and take a few breaths into the belly allowing for a good sigh on the exhale. Then go ahead and just breath normally and as your thoughts come in, respond with ‘Isn’t that interesting’ without any judgment of what the thought is. It can be as simple as your mind wandering and remembering, “I have to do laundry.” and your response is “Isn’t that interesting.” Again - No Judgment.  It can be, “This is stupid” - response -‘Isn’t that interesting’

The purpose of this exercise is to allow yourself to have what I like to call a ‘brain dump’ - we have SO many thoughts that we dismiss throughout the day - and some tend to keep coming back as if the brain doesn’t trust that we’ve heard it. Also, there are those thoughts that create tension inside our bodies, and if those do come up, this is an incredible way of dissipating that tension without judgment. (Dominica Fisher, Director of Creative and Meditative Exploration).

Day 14

Name your emotions. Today, explore your inner dialouge and name your emotions to yourself (or someone else!) to uncover what affects your moods and how to keep them from taking over. Take a deep breath and simply be with the emotion in your body to begin to unravel stagnation. Resisting the emotion will add to the tension. (Dr. Sandra Subotich, Director of Eastern Therapies)

Day 15

Check in on your hand washing! Prevent illness during this higher cold/flu season. Keeping germs at bay can be significantly supported by regular hand washing and wearing masks in highly crowded areas. Take note of some of these basics to keep you healthy now, and all year long. (Dr. Marcie Claybon, Medical Director)

Day 16

Today when you eat, take a moment to look into the food or drink as if you could see backward, into its history. Use the power of imagination to see where it comes form and who many people might have been involved in bringing it to your plate. Think of the people who planted, weeded, and harvested the food, the truckers who transported it, the food packagers and plant workers, the grocer and check-out people, and the family members or other cooks who prepared the food. Thank those folks before you take a bite or sip. (Dr. Ben Schuff, Director of Naturopathy & Nutrition)

Day 17

Take a new route. On your walk, a drive, bike riding or however you get around, try a completely different route and pay attention to your surroundings. Breaking free of the ordinary and “mindless” routes, we can have a refreshingly mindful experience that can boost your mood, clear your mind, and offer perspective. (Mar Soraparu, Co-Founder, Chief Wellness Officer).

Day 18

Ask yourself, “What have I been resisting?” and consider leaning into it. Is it rest? Is it effort? Is it a project? Discover the hidden hurdles that you can overcome simply by checking in with yourself. (Dr. Sri Sullivan, Director of Beauty).

Day 19

Choose a daily task and focus all of your attention on this action. Loading/unloading the dishwasher, driving, getting coffee, making coffee, brushing your teeth, making your bed. When you focus on one task at a time, and begin to utilize this practice elsewhere in your life, you will discover all of the meditative moments of PRESENCE that you can take. This can reduce overwhelm, anxiety and allow for a brighter day. (Kelly Moore, Advisor &  Master Instructor).

Day 20

Digra or the Water Jug Breath

Method –  

Imagine that the body is a like a jug of water. When you inhale, fill the belly first, then keep inhaling and fill the chest and lastly on the same inhale fill the collar bones up to the neck. On the exhale reverse the process emptying the jug of water exhaling breath from the neck and collar bones then the chest and lastly releasing all breath from the belly. Repeat this process three times (or more if you’re on a role). This is best done if you’re sitting or laying down.

The effect of this breath will calm the mind, release muscle tension and increase oxygen supply keeping the lungs healthy. (Dominica Fisher, Director of Meditative & Creative Exploration).

Day 21

This mindfulness exercise is for whenever you’re eating today. After you take a bite, put the spoon or fork back down in the bowl or on the plate. Place your awareness on your mouth until that one bite as been enjoyed and swallowed. Only then pick up the utensil and take another bite. If you are eating with your hands, put the sandwich, apple or cookie down between bites. (Dr. Ben Schuff, Director of Naturopathy & Nutrition).

Day 22

Decide to be vulnerable. It can be difficult to open up to others however the importance of doing so can save someone else from sadness, loneliness, and overwhelm. Embracing vulnerability connects us in a deep and differentiated way that can support both parties in meaningful ways. (Dr. Amy Robbins, Director of Mental Health).

Day 23

Random Acts of Kindness. What is a gesture that you can do today that is kind or generous for someone whom you do not know? Think about striking up a conversation with someone at the coffee shop who is sitting alone, holding the door open for 3 people in a row, baking cookies and dropping them off at an elderly neighbors home, buying the person behind you a coffee, asking the store clerk what they are most excited about for the upcoming year. Think of something that can turn someone’s day around - and witness the beautiful change that your own mood will experience from doing so. (Mar Soraparu, Co-Founder, Chief Wellness Officer).

Day 24

Talking to your Water with Love and Gratitude.

Method -  

With your glass or bottle of water in hand, send thoughts of gratitude and love for the wonderful nutritional support the water will give your system when it’s inside the body; for hydrating you, keeping you healthy and also for flushing away anything that isn’t needed. A simple thank you and the feeling of gratitude sent to the water is all you need to do, oh and then of course drink. 😊

This short meditative practice comes from the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto. He took images of water crystals before and after prayer. And performed many other experiments with different types of music and even just words, showing that intent affects the crystalline structure of water. (Dominica Fisher, Director of Meditative & Creative Exploration).

Day 25

Use a mantra.

Today, choose one sentence to guide you through your day. “I am here” “I am aware” "Drop In” - as it relates to practicing presence. Mentally say this sentence, write it down, or verbally say it each time you observe your mind wandering from your current moment. (Mar Soraparu, Co-Founder, Chief Wellness Officer).

Day 26

"Change your situation or change your perspective"

You always have this choice - to either adjust your environment in the ways that are within your control, or adjust your thinking about any given scenario. Both contribute to you finding a positive outcome. This is leaning into personal responsibility. (Empowered vs Victim mindset).

"What other possibilities exist in this scenario?"

"What could I learn? and how can I grow?"

"What is my responsibility here?"

(Joe Fisher, Co-Founder, CEO)

Day 27

Today, focus on what you GET to do, vs GOT to do - and witness how this simple shift changes your “to do” mentality (Kevin Boehm, Co-Founder, Chairman)

Day 28

Incorporate the element of playfulness today. Where can you bring lightness or playfulness to your next meeting, outing or even for yourself today? Play is simply the practice of pleasure without expectation or result. (Robb Leone, Co-Founder, President)

Day 29

Rest and Resistance. When you find yourself resisting something such as rest, relaxation or even silence, listen to your mind, body, and soul - by simply embracing what it is that you are resisting. Rest with the resistance and call forth clarity and a new perspective. (Dr. Sri Sullivan, Director of Beauty).

Day 30  

Sweep the floors. Clean out the drawer, donate the toys/clothes/coats/old furniture, reorganize the closet and literally sweep the floors as your clear your space for moving into a future of clarity, peace and focus.  (Mar Soraparu, Co-Founder, Chief Wellness Officer).

Day 31

Go back and repeat your favorite exercise of this challenge - or scramble these up and begin again for another 30 days.

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