Happy Holidays, my friends!! Is it just me or is your calendar already filling up for the season?! Traveling, shopping, holiday parties, visiting with family, cooking — November and December can be a total whirlwind. I consider it a FUN whirlwind, but still a whirlwind that can make time pass by so quickly!
Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler
It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season and forget to relax and simply take a moment for ourselves. Taking moments to reconnect with ourselves is so important not only for our mental health, but for savoring the moments of the season! In my blog post on the importance of spending time alone, I wrote about how reconnecting with ourselves forces us to slow down, reset, and reflect on how we are spending our time. Taking these moments throughout the season could result in being more present with ourselves and the people in our lives as we create new holiday memories.
The big question is, “How do I make time for myself during the busiest time of the year??” I have put together a list of some simple ways that I plan on slowing down and spending time with myself this holiday season!
1. Cooking date for one
Once I get started cooking, I absolutely love the process. I find myself suddenly getting lost in the measurements, ingredients, and directions. Reserving an evening or weekend afternoon in the kitchen is a great way to practice cooking a dish, dessert or holiday drink that you might want to serve at your next party! Plan an hour or so of “you time” in the kitchen trying out a new recipe without the added pressure of a big event!
2. Sip and wrap!
One of my favorite things to do by myself during the holidays is to wrap presents with a glass of wine. I usually reserve one evening in December for this experience, spreading out everything that I have bought along with my wrapping paper and bows. I love looking at all of my purchased gifts, and I always feel excitement and anticipation as I think about handing them out. This year, make wrapping presents a memory of its own while creating a relaxing experience for yourself!
3. Create a playlist
We all know that I love music and that I make a lot of playlists. One of my main reasons for keeping up with them monthly is to stay connected to myself through music. Whether you make a playlist for a holiday party, your winter commute, or a cozy quiet Saturday morning, take some time to put together a collection of your favorite songs that you will enjoy listening to all season. Hearing these songs could bring peace to you in times of stress, resurface an old memory, or simply bring you happiness.
4. Create a gratitude map
Last year I created a “gratitude map” of everything that I am grateful for in my life, big and small. Creating this map made me realize how many little things in my life are important to me. Its design also helped me identify my overarching themes of gratitude. It was a therapeutic experience that helped me reflect and feel thankful. Click here to see the photo art image that Chuck created of my gratitude map. What would be included on yours??
Taking moments to reconnect with ourselves is so important not only for our mental health, but for savoring the moments of the holiday season!
5. Celebrate the year!
It’s that time of year when we start to set new goals and resolutions. But what about celebrating THIS year? Take a moment to create a list of accomplishments, goals met, and experiences from this year and simply enjoy these memories! Not the best year? Celebrate how you have grown as a person from hardships or challenges that you have faced or are currently facing. Celebrate all things big and small of this year of your life! Your experiences tell a story that will only continue to evolve as the confetti falls at midnight. A new chapter is about to begin!
6. Find consistency in your schedule
Does anyone else completely fall off of their routines the last two months of the year? Between the days getting shorter, family time, traveling, and time off, I begin to see no rhyme or reason to my schedule. This year I am trying to pick 2-3 things to stay consistent with throughout the unstructured days of the holiday season. Think of a daily/nightly routine, a workout class or a hobby that you do throughout the year that would be easy for you to stick with over the next two months. Keeping some consistency in your routine will allow you to have more control over these busy days!
7. Winter White Out Cleaning Session
Why wait until spring to start cleaning and reorganizing? Winter is the perfect time to take an hour and clean out that closet or those drawers. Cozy up on a cold day and spend time going through items around your home that you could donate or reorganize. Having a winter cleaning session with yourself will help you express gratitude towards your home. What do you love about your space? Do you have certain holiday memories that live in each room? How can you create new memories this season in your home?
8. Watch your favorite holiday movie
Do you have certain movies that you just HAVE to watch this time of year? I find that holiday movies bring up feelings of nostalgia that take me back to different times of my life. This year, wake up early or stay up late watching your favorite movie and remembering why it has always been your personal tradition!
9. Get outside
There is something about the outdoors that brings clarity and rejuvenation. Maybe it’s the fresh air or the way our feet hit the earth with each step. Connecting with nature is one of my favorite ways to stay mindful and connected to myself during the holidays. Bundle up, grab a hot chocolate and go on walk! A daily dose of Mother Nature is good for the soul!
The holidays come and go quickly every year. By taking the time to check in with ourselves throughout the holiday season, we can ensure that we are squeezing the most out of every day during this magical time of year.
Check out my post on 5 ways to stop and practice mindfulness throughout the holiday season!
Happy Holidays from Citrus & Sun!
Wishing you zest & light,