Decorations, presents, lots of Christmas-theme school activities: The lead-up to the holidays is often a whirlwind of shopping and frenzied preparations. What if this year you took the time to live in the present?
Here are a few tips for slowing down and reducing the stress of the holiday season.
1. Reduce your consumption
If ordering in just a few clicks seems easy, taking the time to properly select an item by going to a local store will be more gratifying.
By encouraging local merchants and production, you’re helping the local economy, while limiting the environmental footprint associated with transportation and polluting energy sources. Remember: In the medium or long term, a durable item is a better buy than a lower-quality item, purchased several times.
Whether it’s for you, your children, your friends or your parents, buying a used item is a great way to recycle and reduce production, and to find objects that often have a story to tell at bargain prices.
2. Keep socializing to a minimum
Do you love parties and visits with loved ones during the holidays? If they wear you out physically and mentally, it may be time to strike a balance.
By rotating your yearly visits with people, you may be able to stay longer in one place and truly enjoy meaningful moments with friends and family.
Whether you’re on your own or with your partner, friends or family, remember that quality time is probably the most precious gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.
3. Look for free activities
It’s almost magical how free outdoor activities encourage you to slow down. Walking or sledding in the park, skating, running errands or simply enjoying a stroll through your neighbourhood are great ways to unburden your mind and lighten your heart.
Explore a new library, write for fun, prepare and share a holiday music playlist, read a book, play board games or put together a jigsaw puzzle—it’s finally time to take the time!
4. Nourish your body and mind
Food is also at the heart of holiday festivities. At the table, take the time to savour and appreciate the dishes prepared by your hosts.
A memorable experience doesn’t always mean a big party and karaoke. Whether on your own or with people, a breakfast, brunch or lunch, especially in the wintertime, is ideal for enjoying the daylight and immersing yourself in a more intimate and relaxing environment.
Are you hosting a dinner? Keep it simple and plan ahead: Your guests will prefer you spend time with them rather than in the kitchen.
5. Give yourself the gift of time!
Turn gift-wrapping into a Sunday fine motor skills activity rather than a last-minute stress.
Try making and writing your cards in advance, while listening to soothing music. Lacking inspiration? Simply write a few words about a memorable moment with the person or congratulate them for something they did. Take the opportunity to turn off your phone and disconnect from social media.
6. Focus on the essentials
This might be the perfect, stress-free time to think about your priorities and what you really want to achieve.
Explore what really matters to you. In other words, connecting with your true self.
Focusing on what matters most also means taking care of yourself. Enjoy slowing things down!