The silly season is upon us, and just when we feel desperate to slow down, things start to speed up. Exponentially.
You’re not a bad person if you make the conscious choice not to get caught up in it all. In fact, shunning Black Friday and the crazy retail rollercoaster taking off from now until the jolly man in the red suit arrives in favour of more eco friendly alternatives can fill your soul cup and help our planet, too.
Here are 5 ways to help you to breathe in the upcoming weeks and enjoy a slow Christmas.
Avoid the chaos of Christmas shopping
Bonbons. Check. Advent calendar. Check. Cheap plastic stocking stuffers. Check.
While these things might be traditions in your family, spare a thought for the environment and aim for a waste-free Christmas, while also saving your pennies.
Instead of spending two hours finding a car park to stock up on ‘Christmas essentials’, spend the time at home tinkering with them yourself.
You can use toilet rolls and recycled paper to make your own bonbons, guaranteed to have better fillings than the plastic store-bought kind. Box up an advent calendar full of home made treats, or pot some cuttings from plants around your garden you think your loved ones would like. There’s always an alternative to wasting money on disposable things.
Step away from your phone
Let’s not compare our Christmas with everyone else’s this year.
We all know social media is fantastic for making us feel inadequate at the sight of other peoples Instagram lives. So step away from your online ego and move towards living your best life ‘I.R.L’.
Find fulfilment in what you’re doing with your family and friends without getting caught up in whether it looks good enough to post on Instagram or Facebook.
Your stress levels will be much lower knowing your tree, table setting, or roast ham #fail doesn’t need to take centre stage on the interweb.
Take a trip
If you’re lucky enough to enjoy some time off, why not get out and do something you wouldn’t usually have time to do?
Gather a group and go for a walk in a national park. Drink in the surrounding birdsong and literally take time to smell the roses.
Go to the beach. Drive into the mountains. Swim in a stream.
Give yourself a break from the daily grind and get out in nature. It will do you and your family the world of good to just stop, breathe, and re-focus. If only for a day. And it doesn’t have to cost a cent.
Put on an apron and cook
Okay, so the apron is optional, but get off the devices and get into the kitchen!
You don’t need to be a master chef… just look up a Christmas recipe and give it a go.
The therapeutic benefits of cooking include sensory awareness, balance and coordination and stress relief, just to name a few.
You can even try cooking, pickling or baking gifts instead of buying them. Jars of condiments such as pickles or caramelised onions always go down a treat at social events. And a tin of shortbread makes a super cute gift that anyone would adore.
Let your presence be their present
No matter your interpretation of the ‘Christmas spirit’, spending time with those you love should be a non-negotiable. Make up for all of the moments you’ve missed during the year and spend some quality time with your kids, parents, siblings or friends.
Talk, walk, or just be.
Sit and really listen. Pay a visit to someone who doesn’t get to see you much.
Instead of getting wrapped up in all of the things you have to do, buy, or be, open your heart and give some love instead.
It’s the best thing you could gift to anyone, including yourself.