Slow Living series | How to Enjoy a more Mindful Christmas
The festive season can be overwhelming with gatherings, shopping, hosting and preparing your house for guests. It’s tricky to find time for yourself amongst all the chaos, but it is possible to slow down and enjoy a more mindful Christmas. If you’re hoping to make it through December without a huge amount of stress, in pursuit of a quieter Christmas, read on to discover our suggestions for how to take things slower this festive season.
Make a shopping list and stick to it
Christmas shopping can be stressful – especially if you’re feeling the pressure to find the perfect gift. Rather than worrying about your gifts being ‘perfect’, make a list of who you are buying for and what you are going to buy. Then stick to that list, rather than overspending. Think about what your family and friends love or need – perhaps they’d love to receive a new pair of cosy socks every month, a warm sweater to snuggle up in, or a copy of a book that you loved reading. Or maybe an experience would be more suited, such as vouchers to take them out for dinner, to a concert or for a spa day. If you’re looking for stocking fillers, keep in mind things that they’ll love or are useful, rather than throw-away gimmicks. Candles, bars of soap, beanie hats, colourful socks or chocolates all make excellent stocking fillers.
Shop small, avoid the high street
A small, independent brand will be delighted every time someone makes a purchase, whereas high street stores won’t even notice. Not only will shopping small put a smile on someone’s face and help to support their craft and/or business, but you will be choosing unique, thoughtful items that will be treasured by your recipients. Brands that I love to shop from at Christmas include refillable candles from Potts Candles, cocktails from Kocktails, Doork hand made soaps.
Make time for yourself
It’s easier said than done, but try to make some time for yourself over the festive period. We tend to spend so much time socialising and hosting at this time of year that we get burnt out. Keep some evenings and weekends in December free for yourself (or you and your household). Whether that time is spent watching Christmas films, reading a book in bed or going for a long walk is up to you.
Get out of the house
It’s tempting to spend most of your time indoors when the days are short and the temperatures plummet, but heading outdoors to soak up a little fresh air will do you the world of good. It’s proven (and even prescribed by doctors!) that spending time outdoors surrounded by nature is good for both your physical and mental health. You’ll feel less stressed, more relaxed, happier, calmer and more inspired if you go for just a short walk every day.
Turn off technology
Set your out-of-office on your emails, switch off from social media, put your phone on silent and enjoy a short break from technology over the Christmas period. Not only will you feel more relaxed and be able to take a proper break from work, but you’ll feel less pressure to keep up with the idea of a ‘perfect Christmas’ that will be plastered all over Instagram. You’re more likely to be content with your own Christmas gifts, decorations, dinner and plans if you aren’t scrolling through endless images of other people’s highlights of their own celebrations.
Say ‘no’ more often
Christmas is usually a time for compromise, but you can say ‘no’ to anything which is making you feel particularly stressed or anxious during the festive season. If you have too many social engagements, prioritise those that mean the most to yourself and others. Speak to family and friends about buying less, only buying for children or organising a Secret Santa. Do your Christmas shopping online and avoid busy town centres. Send everyone a cheery text instead of writing Christmas cards. Whichever part of Christmas is giving you stress, consider how you could avoid it.
You don’t need to decorate your entire house at the beginning of December. Make festive decorating into an enjoyable or even social experience by slowly introducing your decorations throughout the month. Plan a day to buy and decorate the tree as a family. Make your own wreath, perhaps at a workshop or with friends. Go for a walk and gather seasonal foliage then make garlands as a household. String up your outdoor lights and have an unofficial lights ceremony with mulled wine in your garden. Focus on the decorations that you want rather than what is expected, and make it a slow, enjoyable process.
Take the stress out of your Christmas shopping with our Christmas Gifts edit which includes ideas for him, for her, for kids, for stocking fillers and, of course, the gift that keeps on giving: our socks subscription.
GS Sock Subscription
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