Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Holiday Season

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We are a week away until Christmas and we all know how the last week of leading up to the holiday can be! 'Tis the season of festivities and endless to-do lists, presents to wrap and last minute gifts to get. The air is filled with the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations. As Christmas comes around the corner, it's hard to escape the hustle and excitement of it all and wrapping up the year. Often this constant state of distraction can pull us away from the simple joy of the present moment.

red hot chocolate merry Christmas mug with marshmallows

Been there, done that—stretched so thin during the holidays, juggling social gatherings all while trying to wrap up work for year, only to find myself exhausted by the time Christmas day comes and into the New Year! But this year, I'm going to approach these last few weeks differently and embrace slowing down and enjoying the moments and trying not to be so caught up in all the hustle of the holiday.

Curious about what that entails? The pressure to maintain a decorated home, attend EVERY social gathering, and churn out a continuous stream of freshly-baked holiday cookies—all of it takes a backseat (well maybe all, except for the cookies, because I do love baking cookies and that brings me JOY!) Instead, we will be choosing to only say YES to things we WANT to do and yes to the things that fulfill us! Yes, that means declining some parties or dinners or even outings we used to do but you just can't fit it all in, and we are OK with that! Hoping this creates the much-needed space for us to be present in the moment!

Wondering how you can slow down these next few weeks? Because the holiday burnout can sabotage our joy and how we feel walking into the holidays and New Year. Instead of succumbing to the traditional cycle of overcommitting, we are going to try and slow down, watch movies in our cozy pajamas, see the Christmas lights, drink hot chocolate and take time to wrap the presents and not leave it all to the last few days (which is normally what I end up doing) or at least I am going to try all of this. Personally, I'm contemplating how we all want to feel in the last weeks of this year—present, calm, and well-rested. 

image via Pinterest

Here are some things we will be doing this week to be in the moment to create space to soak in the holiday magic that you can try too:

Mindful Moments of Gratitude: Take intentional breaks to pause and reflect on the things you're grateful for. It could be as simple as sipping a cup of hot cocoa appreciating the twinkle of holiday lights. Creating a gratitude journal and jotting down a few things daily can be a wonderful way to cultivate mindfulness. I love to journal at the end of my day as I get into bed and reflect on the day.

Embrace the Joy of JOMO (Joy of Missing Out): It's okay to decline some invitations and choose moments of rest or slowness over a packed schedule. Embrace the joy of missing out on certain events or commitments to create space for relaxation. Quality often outweighs quantity when it comes to holiday experiences. Heck throw on some cozy pajamas and watch all the Christmas movies with the family. I promise they will remember those moments forever over a night you made them dress up in fancy clothes for an event they didn't want to attend.

Create Simple Traditions: Establishing simple and meaningful traditions can add a sense of routine and comfort to the holiday season. It could be baking cookies with family, our kids look forward to making Gingerbread houses and making gingerbread cookies, taking a stroll or drive to enjoy neighborhood decorations, or having a cozy movie night. These traditions don't need to be extravagant; the emphasis is on enjoying the moment.

Prioritize Self-Care: Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Whether it's a warm bath, a quiet meditation session, or a brisk walk in nature, find activities that rejuvenate and center you. For us a morning walk along the beach really brings us a lot of JOY! Taking care of your well-being will enhance your ability to be present and engaged during the festive season.

Remember, JOY is different for everyone, and do what brings you JOY and take time to soak in this last week before Christmas. Incorporating these can help you cultivate a sense of calm and make the most of the season without feeling burnt out at the end of this week!

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