The holidays can be fast paced, chaotic and full, none of which are bad things, but sometimes you wind up back at your desk in January more tired than before your break. Whether you’ve got three or ten days off over the holidays this year, it’s easy to fill up your time, over indulge, over spend, and feel overstretched. After a hectic year, I’m embracing slow this holiday season, I want to start 2019 with a rested body and mind, so here are a few ways I’ll be slowing down over Christmas.
Don’t oversaturate your calendar. It’s easy to get caught up in agreeing to everything and anything over the festive season. After work drinks with your colleagues? Sure. A weeknight trip to the Christmas markets with your gal pals? Yes please! Hosting extended family on Boxing day? Okay! Before you know it, you’re fully booked up and you’re not even going to manage one sneaky lie in over the Christmas break. This year, I’m taking the pressure off and saying thanks, but no thanks a little more. I’m keeping the important bits, lunch with colleagues on the last day before we shut the office, a catch up at the pub with my pals from Creative Writing Class, and a big family cheese and wine evening a few days before Christmas, but other than that? No thank you. I’ve made no plans for the time between Christmas and New Year so I can instead just rest + recuperate. Find a balance that works for you, but if you know that saying yes to an event will cause stress, just say no!
Keep time for movement in your schedule. Whether it’s a weekly yoga class you love, your regular gym sesh or just a Sunday morning walk, don’t fall into the trap of spending all of the holidays on the sofa. I’ve booked into a Boxing day yoga class to stretch off my Christmas dinner, and Con and I plan on going swimming a few times too. Fingers crossed we have the weather for a few forest walks too!
Turn your phone off. I read a quote this week that said; “What if we recharged ourselves as often as we charged our phones.” and it really stuck with me, we take better care of our phones than we do ourselves! This holiday season I’ll be leaving my phone in my desk drawer and spending quality, offline time with family and friends.
Nourish your body with something other than chocolate…occasionally. It’s easy to over indulge over the festive period, but try and block out a few meals to eat something healthy and nourishing, or at least throw an extra portion of veggies into your meal! I always try to make sure I’m supporting my body with some good general supplements too, a B Complex, some vitamin D and a good probiotic too. Spend time looking after your body over Christmas so you don’t start the new year feeling terrible.
Spend time outside. December is cold, and it’s so tempting to stay cosied up in the glow of the Christmas tree, watching movies, drinking wine and generally not moving. December however, is also a beautiful time of year to be out in nature. Frosty mornings and crispy leaves, lush evergreens and cold crisp air, they’re all big incentives to be outside. Spending time out in nature is always good for the soul and slowing down, we always do a little beach walk on Boxing Day, and we do a forest walk at some point between Christmas and New Year. I always appreciate that time outside to clear the head and get away from the Christmas Chaos!
Don’t overburden yourself with hosting. It’s easy to pile on the pressure when it comes to hosting family and friends, cooking meals and making sure the house is spotless, playing perfect host. In our house, we’re big fans of making it as simple as possible. This year we’re hosting a pre Christmas get together for both mine and Con’s immediate family, and instead of cooking a dinner, we’re doing a cheese and wine evening! That way, there’s no cooking to stress about, it’s simply a case of ordering a food shop for the day of, running the hoover round and arranging cheeses on chopping boards. Job done.
How will you be embracing slow over the holidays?