Winter is a time of steadiness. It is a time to unwind and focus more on the small joys of life as we all find peace in the slower approach of the season. From cozying up with a good book and some hot cocoa to baking your favorite treats, to long soaks in a hot bath by candlelight. The holiday season gets wrapped up in busy busy but winter is all about reconnecting with our home, ourselves and our loved ones as the year comes to an end. Today I am welcoming my talented daughter back for a slow living tips all about slowing down, savoring and enjoying the holiday season.
Slow Living Tips for the Holiday Season
In previous posts, we’ve discussed the importance of finding a slower approach to each season, and during the holiday season, this is crucial. The holidays have us all moving a little more quickly as we rush to mark things off of our to-do lists and get everything done as quickly as possible. Instead of quickening our pace to accomplish as much as possible- we should focus more on slowing down and savoring all of the beautiful moments of the season with those around us. We should prioritize our well-being and focus more on enjoying ourselves, building memories, and indulging in the peaceful and rejuvenating side of the holidays above everything else. Here are 7 of our favorite ways to practice slow living this season to nurture and rejuvenate your energy in all that you do.
1. Give gifts in other ways
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest stressors of the holidays is the pressure we place on ourselves to ensure we get enough gifts for all the people we love. This can not only make our lives hectic and financially stressful but can also make it harder to enjoy the season. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in getting everyone gifts that the act of giving loses its meaning. ‘Gifting’ then becomes more of a chore rather than an act of kindness, and that’s not how the holidays should ever be.
Ways to Embrace: Simplify your gift-giving and cut back on how many gifts you buy. Consider doing a secret Santa with your family to help everyone spend less, or try giving gifts to your family in other ways, such as baking treats for everyone or making DIY presents. Truly, the most beautiful thing about giving gifts is the thought that goes into them, not the price tag or how many you get. So, this year, allow the holidays to be about spending time with the ones you love, not about how much you spend.
2. Cut back your to-do list
One of the biggest reasons people feel rushed during the holidays, aside from shopping, is because they feel a need to keep up with appearances and do as much as possible in terms of gatherings, decorating and celebrations. While a few gatherings here and there can be good for you, going to every celebration can be very overwhelming, especially on top of everything else going on. And that can cause you to overextend yourself to the point of exhaustion.
How To Prioritize You: To practice more slow living this holiday and prioritize your well-being, cut back on the number of things you’re doing. Instead of going to another celebration for the third time this week, stay in and focus on intentional rest. Watch your favorite holiday movies, or indulge in a good book. Truly, there’s no harm in saying no and putting your mental well-being first, no matter what time of the year it is. Keep your life simple and balanced, and this is sure to show you all the beautiful moments that you miss out on when your schedule is overly full.
3. Enjoy the seasonal festivities
A lot of times, the holidays are so busy as we try to do and buy as many things as possible that we actually forget to enjoy them for what they are.
How to Enjoy Seasonal Simplicity: Take time to unwind from all the busyness. Indulge in some of your favorite festivities and little seasonal things for joy. When we take a moment to look deeper, those little things usually end up being the things that we remember the most. Prioritize slowing down enough to enjoy the seasonal festivities around you and watch how taking time to enjoy the little things is actually a big thing after all.
4. Make time for Reflective Quietness every day
While the world around you is rushing through the holidays, use your time more intentionally to find peaceful quietness and beauty in your life.
Focus on Quietness: Reflect on your year and the things you are most grateful for during the holidays, or simply, just savor a moment of peace over a hot cup of tea. Look at your life in a more meaningful way and count your blessings. This will not only help you realize how much you have to be grateful for but is a great way to bring you more in touch with yourself and the present moment to soak up more of the beauty that life and the season have to offer you.
5. Find joy in food
There’s nothing quite like filling your house with the fresh smell of apple pie on a winter’s day to help you slow down and enjoy all the savory flavors of life. So often, we miss the beauty of slowing down to make a nice meal as we rush to make a holiday dinner as quickly as possible that it feels more chaotic rather than something fun and fulfilling to do.
Joy in Food: This year, try to eliminate the stress that goes along with cooking and bring more fun into the activity. Put on your favorite music, give thanks for the abundance of food you have, and allow yourself to simply get lost in the art and creativity of making food for those you love. (including you)
6. Magic from childhood times
The holiday season has become a season caught up in buying gifts and spending money & many of us have lost the feeling and the true beauty that comes with the holidays. It is not a time to rush and mark off our to-do list; it is a time in which we can spend quality time with the people we love, focus on gratitude, and just have some fun. As we’ve all gotten older, it seems many of us have forgotten the true magic of the holidays that we held onto when we were younger, and it’s time to find it again.
Find that Magic Again: I encourage all of you, no matter your age, to allow your inner child to shine through, and remember those beautiful times when we were younger, and find ways to bring them to life again. Build gingerbread houses with your family, indulge in your favorite food without guilt, get creative with some fun holiday crafts.
Deep down, the true magic of the holidays rests in the simplicity we once knew that was left behind long ago. Leave the pressure and to -do lists behind and allow yourself to fully soak up that magical side of the holiday season. Your inner child will thank you!
7. Do something nice for yourself and for others
While you should always give to others, no matter the time of the year, this is a great time to do more. Donate food to charities, volunteer your time, send meaningful cards to distant friends and loved ones, donate to a giving tree, surprise a neighbor with a tray of goodies, etc. Try to keep spending out of it and focus on how you can give in other ways.
Giving and sharing are beautiful ways to help us share the magic of the season with others and help us make a difference in their lives, as well as our own. This holiday, do something special for yourself and those around you, and remember what this season, at its heart, is truly about.
Less is More
Doing less is doing more. Allow the art of slow living to guide you towards little ways to enjoy the slower pace of your holiday this season, become more present with it, and make the most of it. If you take time to focus on moving more slowly to find the true meaning of living intentionally this season, you’re sure to find a gift far more valuable than money could ever buy.