How many times in the past have we all heard and said that the holidays are “so busy,” that December is “so crazy,” or talked about the “Christmas rush?” It seems to be a foregone conclusion that there’s never enough time to do all of the things we want to do and that we’re all supposed to be stressed out and hassled. If you’re someone that would like a little more “slow” in the season, this is the time! This year more than any other, we have the opportunity to let go of the things that take us away from our well being, and embrace more of what brings us the beauty, peace and joy that the season offers.
So how would you like to slow down your holiday for less of the stress and more ease and enjoyment? Here are a few things to consider as you reinvent your own experience of the season.
DECIDE WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE MEANINGFUL TO YOU
There are likely to be things you’re normally involved in this time of year that aren’t happening due to the pandemic. Think of holiday activities that you love or would love to try, and that in years past get rushed or haven’t happened at all because there’s always too much going on, such as making more of your own gifts, trying more special recipes, taking time to listen to your favorite holiday music, watching special movies or sitting down with a big, thick book!
LET GO OF THINGS THAT YOU FELT LIKE YOU “HAD TO DO” IN THE PAST
Give yourself permission to release the tasks that you may have felt obligated to do for the sake of tradition. For example, perhaps let go of the automated Christmas Card list in exchange for a few handwritten letters? Or, instead of baking six dozen cookies for the swap or a bake sale that’s not happening, just embrace the process of baking for your own household. Not cooking for a crowd this year? There’s nothing wrong with making your holiday meal more simple so that there’s more time in the day for doing other things.
So you’re not having that open house, holiday dinner party or large family gathering this year? Even if there is some sense of loss or sadness around this, recognize that the pressure is off. This is the opportunity to simplify your decorating! Bring in a few fresh greens for the mantle that can be composted afterwards, forage for your own wreath making, and fill the house with seasonal fragrances, music and fun rather than so many things you’re going to have to haul away to storage later.
Stay COVID safe and save so much time by shopping from home–no traffic, parking, lines or crowded stores. Online shopping also gives you more of an opportunity to learn about what you are buying. If sustainability is a priority, you can check out company websites before you purchase an item, making sure their product is something you want to put your money behind. Our Lady Farmer Marketplace is stocked with beautiful and functional items that are responsibly sourced and manufactured, and are curated for those seeking to buy sustainably. Shop well, buy better…and buy less!
Make it a priority to get out in nature for at least a few minutes every day, despite the weather. Take a brisk walk or sit on a bench somewhere and soak up the sun. The sunlight and fresh air will energize you, clear your head and support your immune system. It takes a little more effort to bundle up and go outside when it’s cold, but it’s worth it!
EAT WELL AND HYDRATE
The holidays are surely a time for special treats, but we all know that eating highly processed and sugary foods can make us feel sluggish and depressed, and more prone to illness. Enjoy those things that you look forward to having this time of year, but be sure to balance it out with plenty of real, fresh food and remember to drink lots of water! Treats can be healthy, too! Check out this blog for a Super Food Hot Cocoa recipe.
Take a hint from the plants that go underground in winter and the animals that hibernate. You most likely won’t be going out in the evenings much this year, so stay home and “cocoon” yourself instead. Create a nest in your favorite chair, or even your bed where you’ll love to spend the long evening reading or writing. Avoid screens after dark and use the Bedtime Bulb for a more restful sleep. The short days and long hours of darkness are a time for us to heal and be restored. For a boost in your energy, mood, and immune system, get your circadian rhythm in sync by settling down early and getting up with the light.
Yes, this season is different, but now more than ever, you can make the choice for what you want it to be.
For more ideas and guidance around slow living each season, join us in our online community, The ALMANAC! There you’ll find articles, essays, recipes, playlists, resources and more!
Check it out here for everything you need to know about becoming a member.
Here’s wishing you a slow and joyful holiday, and many more to come!