It’s quite easy to get swept up in the stress-inducing hustle and bustle of the holiday season. This year, I’m giving myself the gift of slower living instead.
Ahhh the holiday season. Merry, bright, and extremely busy. So busy, we frequently burn ourselves out in an effort to please others ahead of ourselves. Is this really necessary? Is it essential that all of our halls are “decked?”
I was inspired to check in with slow-living expert Brooke McClary, author of “Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World,” to find out. She believes in the “delicate art of dropping the ball” around the holidays and shares that we shouldn’t fear setting boundaries around time, finances, and energy over the months ahead. We need not feel obligated to attend every gathering we are invited to, nor should we blow our budget on all-the-things. We can gift experiences and our skills over material goods instead.
Brooke shares that, even though we crave connection over the holiday season, we actually remove opportunities to do just that when absorbed with consumption and busy-ness. Her advice that really resonated with me was to investigate how I truly want the holidays to feel.
I desire the holidays with my family to feel cozy and memorable. I wish for them to be a time of less obligation and more intention.
Here are a few ways I plan to embody that this year:
My Decorations will be Minimal:
Call me Scrooge (I’m okay with it), but I have never relished decorating for the holidays. I felt that it was something that I had to do. The thought of spending money on decorations, putting them up for a month, only to place them right back in storage, absolutely drains me. I promised my son we will have a Christmas tree and spend an afternoon decorating it, a plan that I am really looking forward to.
I’m Not Sending Greeting Cards:
I still have 6-month overdue thank-you cards so it is unlikely I will carve out time to send holiday snail mail cheer. Nor do I really want to. I still enjoy connecting with my friends and family of course and will find another way to send them my love.
I’m Choosing One Event Per Weekend:
The invitations that I accept this holiday season will be intentional. I won’t feel guilty about saying no. While my family and I might miss out on a few gatherings and celebrations, we have all that we need to create a magical season. I look forward to sharing more holiday traditions with my children at home.
I’m not Sacrificing Self-Care:
I know that I cannot pour from an empty cup so, while many “to-dos” remain undone, I am continuing to take time for myself daily. I attended a holiday self-care retreat last weekend. I’m dabbling in art journaling, reading about topics for my own growth and rolling out my yoga mat daily, even if I just savor a stretch or two.
The best gift for myself this season is to slow down. In return, I can gift my extra time and attention to those whom I love.
How are you slowing down this holiday season?