5 Ways to Slow Down this Holiday Season

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close up of a christmas tree ornaments - 5 ways to slow down this holiday season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? My family celebrates Christmas and I love this time of year. The lights, the food, the baking, the music, the get togethers and yes, even the snow. I love it all…and it’s also true that the pace of life this time of year leaves me feeling a little bit more depleted than usual. The full schedule doesn’t leave much time to carve out a whole weekend or even a full day to unwind. So, I look to squeeze in some intentional mini resets multiple times each week. Some of them are just for me to collect myself physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Some of them involve the whole family to ensure we pause the craziness and connect.

Brew a cup of tea or coffee and sit by the Christmas tree in silence or at least quiet for 10 minutes

We spend a lot of time decorating and preparing for the holiday, but it’s also important to spend regular time savoring it. Sitting by the tree with a hot cup of tea or coffee in a favorite mug for a few intentional minutes each day while kids are sleeping or quiet is one way I try to intentionally make these days leading up to Christmas a little bit different than the rest of the year.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and lay down on the bed with your hands on your belly and breathe more deeply with your eyes closed

This is my “I don’t have time for a nap but really need one” reset. I ask my family for a few minutes to go upstairs for quiet time and it’s actually quite surprising how much energy I gain from 10 intentional minutes.

Make or buy some hot chocolate and drive around looking at Christmas lights.

Last year we went to the Lancaster Celebration of Lights and it was one of the most simple but memorable times we spent together as a family. No stress. We hit up a drive-thru for some hot chocolate, cranked up the Christmas Carols and watched as our youngest munchkins said “oooh” and “ahhhh” at the lights.

Hand write a letter to an old friend

I notice that mail often feels like more for the to-do list. Bills, forms etc… Every once in a while I receive fun mail. Mail from someone I haven’t heard from in a while. Okay, and my amazon packages. Those are fun too, but back to mail from people. There is something that feels fun and nostalgic about a handwritten card or letter from a friend. Handwriting one to someone can be just enough to bring me down memory lane and give me a boost of happy feelings thinking about the recipient getting the letter or card on the other side.

Walk outside in the crisp, cold air for at least 10 minutes

I think it’s safe to say that we know the benefits of exercise, but sometimes I end up in this “all or nothing” mentality. I can easily feel that the lack of time to get in a full workout means that I can’t do anything. I’ve learned, however, that even 10 quick minutes outside can completely revitalize my mood and energy. It’s not perfect, but it truly does feel better than not doing anything at all.

No matter how your family celebrates this holiday season, please remember that us moms can be super hard on ourselves to do everything and go a million miles a minute without taking a break, which isn’t good for anyone. My humble suggestion as we roll into this beautiful season is to do what works for your family, do what brings your family joy, spread kindness and leave the rest no matter what Pinterest, the internet or someone else says. Slow down and savor the season as much as possible.

 

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Colette lives in Winchendon with her husband, four children, dogs, and chickens. After 17 years of working in the Criminal Justice field, Colette left her full-time career to be more present at home and will be continuing to teach CJ students as a college adjunct instructor.  A fan of baking for as long as Colette can remember her mom and grandmothers lifting fresh Irish bread from the oven, she is the recipe developer, food photographer & chocoholic at Sundaybakers.com where she strives to create accessible and joyful recipes for busy homes. Passionate about wellness, fitness, and her Catholic Faith, she believes that a good workout, quiet time with God, and a hot cup of coffee set her up for a great day. Colette wishes she was better at gardening and she loves checking out the local food scene when she isn’t chasing kids or trying to get them out the door on time.

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