Christmas, and the month long lead up to the festivities, can feel like a very tiring, mentally draining, and anxiety ridden four to six weeks.
Add in a pandemic, and we are finding our way week by week as we countdown to Christmas in a somewhat purged state of anxiousness. It is the perfect year to lean into the art of slow living at Christmas to ease the overbearing tension many of us feel.
Slow living is essentially easing up on the expectations, the should, the woulds, and the coulds of life and being in the moment.
With the art of slow living we can learn that our wants certainly outweigh our needs and the excessive consumerism we experience at this time of year is not necessarily needed. We can take the time to appreciate what we have and truly enjoy the season by recognising what is most important to us.
It’s quite possibly safe to say that we all need the time at Christmas to rejuvenate and reconnect with our loved ones, but how can we do that if we are stressed and overwhelmed with what the season expects of us?
This year, remind yourself that you don’t have to do everything that is offered.
The Santa experience can be skipped, ice skating does not need to be booked, and the panto can wait another year. Instead, we can stay in the warmth of our homes surrounded by those we love making jigsaws, or baking cookies. Think of it as hibernating, a little down time before the bedlam of the new year comes calling.
This Christmas instead of giving in to the commercialisation of the period, celebrate the simple joys such as sharing a festive meal with loved ones, watching old Christmas movies, wrapping presents, and decorating the tree.
Many of the things we do in preparation for Christmas can feel like a chore but we have the option to choose to see these things as quiet, enjoyable moments such as writing the greeting cards and tying the ribbon on the gifts, and relinshing in these experiences in a slow and meaningful way.
Practice slow living this Christmas by:
Making New Traditions
- Taking the time to build traditions, whether it is reading Christmas stories together every evening, making snowflake garlands out of paper, baking and decorating cookies, or making a homemade advent calendar.
- Remembering to be grateful. Being actively thankful for the people, experiences, and things we have in our life builds a practice of gratitude. Celebrate these simple joys with your family by creating a gratitude jar.
Get Outside into Nature
- Getting outside. Fresh air, nature, the great outdoors, has an incredible way of lowering our stress and anxiety levels. Use the outdoors to remain grounded this Christmas.
Go Green and Rustic
- Bringing the outdoors inside. Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in all things green, rustic, and natural with our décor. Collect pinecones, branches, and lots of green to make your own wreath this festive season.
Remember, in practicing slow living we make the conscious effort to recognise the importance of what is around us including our time, our space, the things we own, the people we love, the people we miss, our creativity, our dreams and passions.
Slow living this December and January means being mindful of every hour of our day and not rushing, pulling, running, climbing, or thrashing our way through the countdown.
This Christmas period find the slow and steady pace, the peaceful and appreciative atmosphere, and the joy in the quiet moments.