In case you haven’t already noticed it’s Christmas time. This year I’m focusing on slowing down and finding moments of calm during what’s normally a busy time of the year. Instead of rushing around and feeling overwhelmed I want to slow down and be more intentional. I want to give myself time and space to fully enjoy this wonderful time of year. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this. So with this in mind, I’ve put together a list of 5 simple slow living activities that you can do if you need a moment of calm this holiday season.
Read by fairy light
Well, maybe not just fairy light unless you have super night vision. But sitting by the tree reading your book feels special at this time of year. One of my favourite things about Christmas is decorating my home. Any idea of a minimalist home goes out the window and is replaced by baubles and fairy lights. So I try to make the most of it whilst my decorations are up. And one of my favourite activities is to sit by the tree with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. I normally read in bed so bringing my book down the stairs to the living always feels like a treat. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes whilst dinner is cooking that’s long enough to relax and escape the busyness of the season.
Watch a Christmas film without your phone
Watching a film might not initially sound like a slow living activity but think about the last time you watched a film (or TV show) all the way through without picking up your phone. I’m terrible at this. I’ll often put the TV and find myself scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest not paying attention to either task. Soon realising I’ve missed half the plot of whatever it was I wanted to watch. I’m trying to be more intentional about how I consume media and since I have a soft spot for cheesy Christmas films it is the ideal place to start. I’m going to leave my phone in another room make a hot chocolate, turn down the lights and give the film my undivided attention from start to finish.
One of the reasons I love having a dog is they force you to go outside every day no matter the weather. Plus a dog walk out in the countryside is a great slow living activity. If you can bare it leave your phone at home (or at least leave in your pocket) and use the time to think and reflect. Even if you don’t have a dog heading out on a country walk is always a good idea. Especially if you’re off work and the days are starting to merge together. Getting outside in nature will help you find a moment of calm and peace over the holidays.
Try stepping away from screens for around 10/15 minutes each day. It can often feel like you are surgically attached to our smartphones these days. And whilst they are great little devices allowing us to communicate with others and learn anything with the swipe of a finger. Sometimes it can feel like too much. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to spend time away from our phones and social media. Let’s turn off our phones and do something that doesn’t involve a screen for a few minutes. My unplugging might be when I take my dog for a walk, or time to read my book without distractions. It might be a chance to sit and enjoy a hot cup of tea for a few minutes.
This time of year it can feel like we are being bombarded with advertisements telling we need more and more. It can be helpful to step away for a moment to be grateful for what you already have. Grab a notebook and write down 5 positive things in your life that you are grateful for. This would be a great activity to combine with unplugging!
Pre-New Year Declutter
I’ve been working on decluttering recently. I want to start the new year feeling lighter and fresh leaving the clutter behind. If you want to do the same now is a perfect time to get some decluttering done. Christmas isn’t the time to attempt to do a major declutter, clearing out your whole house. But it is a great time to focus on smaller areas which are often ignored. Like the junk drawer in the kitchen, that pile of paperwork in the office or those old coats hanging in the spare bedroom. Set a timer for 20 minutes and get to work. After your time is up, make sure you look at how much progress you’ve made in such a short time. If you want to set the timer again and continue or pack up and leave it for the day. Chances are you don’t have the time to do everything in one sitting up you will achieve a lot in short periods over the holidays.