The festive season is almost here (aka the most magical yet completely hectic time of the year). While it’s pretty much expected that things will ramp up and we all become really busy, the reality is that it can leave us feeling frazzled rather than refreshed as we step into the new year. But what if we signed up to do less and used this time to slow down; rather than filling our calendars as much as we do our Christmas stockings? We’re here to help you to do just that and ultimately have a more relaxing festive season…
OUR TOP TIPS ON SLOWING DOWN FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
Protect your time and energy
With invitations galore and “so much left to do,” putting in place some boundaries and turning down different events is one of the best ways to start slowing down. We truly believe that more of the festive season can be enjoyed when we slow down, so this year, why not try embracing JOMO (joy of missing out) rather than FOMO (fear of missing out). Many of us worry about saying no for fear of hurting people’s feelings or not being invited again in the future, but by being selective of who you spend time with and what you engage in, you can be more present. We’re currently reading this book which is all about how to say no in different scenarios – such a useful guide, especially at this time of year!
Take any holidays from work without guilt too – this means no checking emails, no thinking about how others are getting on without you or what will be there for you when you go back. This is your time which you have earnt to spend time with family and friends, no phones or laptops necessary.
If you are someone who is energised during the festive season, then give some of that energy to the things you want to and can do (maybe you find it comforting to talk to an elderly person who might be lonely or you like to give back by helping out at a homeless shelter as a way of slowing down and reconnecting). Conserve the rest for loved ones and yourself. Now that you have freed up some time and energy, and are ok with saying no, you can use this to check in with yourself… after all, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
This season of indulgence reminds us of the importance of not skipping self-care (from the inside and out). Enjoy a healthy, balanced diet with a little of everything that takes your festive fancy, get plenty of sleep and schedule some time to take care of your skin and to exercise – yoga, swimming and cycling are all lovely ways to get moving whilst ultimately slowing down. We are big fans of booking out time to get outdoors in the fresh air – whether that’s for a wintery walk with the dog, a solo visit to independent stores for gifts or a visit to a Christmas market for a drink that makes us feel toasty on the inside and a spot of mince pie sampling. Afterwards, we like to head back home and get the slow cooker out – it’s the perfect time to make those wholesome stews and let them simmer whilst sitting back with a book (this is an example of the Danish slow living method, Niksen).
You might also like: Our Top Tips For Autumn/Winter Wellbeing
Get creative, get ahead
One way of slowing down and being more mindful is to hand-make gifts. This isn’t just a thoughtful, personalised present but something that can help you to switch off too. Whether you prefer to get crafty, knit, or can bake up a treat, this is a great way to practice mindfulness (reducing costs and waste too).
For many of us, we feel a lot of weight on our shoulders at this time of year. We might be hosting Christmas dinner or are in charge of the shopping because our other half thinks we’re better at it, and that’s a lot of added pressure at a time that should be jolly and relaxed. Possibly the best way to slow down is to prepare as much in advance as you can. Cook what you can before the big day, make a list (and check it twice) of what you have to do. Strip things back to the things that matter most and focus on one thing at a time to ease stress and busyness for yourself. Then put on your favourite music and enjoy the process.
5 more ways to slow down this festive season:
- Start a gratitude journal – writing down what you are grateful for each day encourages us to appreciate what we have and focus on the positive. It also helps us in accepting that what hasn’t worked out the way we had expected doesn’t need as much of our focus. It will make what we have feel even more special.
- Keep your eyes on your own paper – whether it’s a competition with the neighbours for the best Christmas lights, comparing your Christmas cookies with ones you’ve seen on Instagram or an internal competition with yourself to make this a more magical occasion than last year, ease off yourself by focusing on what sparks joy.
- Set the scene – pick out some festive-fragranced essential oils/candles, get out the blankets, turn down the lights and pop on a festive film to truly get you into the spirit.
- Declutter – with lots going on and more being added to our homes, it’s the ideal time to get rid of what we don’t want. We’re not talking strict, Marie Kondo rules here, but rather letting go of anything we don’t need that encourages a fast-living lifestyle.
- Read our post: How Slow Living Is Helping Us To Lead Healthier Lives
HOW ARE YOU PLANNING ON SLOWING DOWN THIS FESTIVE SEASON?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!