As you take time to celebrate the season with friends and family it can be easy to get caught up in the chaos of presents and holiday parties. You may find yourself fighting off seasonal depression or feeling nostalgic or melancholy as the year comes to a close. Or you may relish in the joys of Christmas carols, lights on trees, hot cocoa and candy canes. For most of us this season can bring a mix of both sets of feelings. To stay grounded and healthy and not let the swirl of holiday mania get the best of us, here are 3 tips to beat winter blues and truly engage in the magic of this time of year.
1) Keep a gratitude journal…maintaining a mentality of gratitude is a fast way to feel the bounty and abundance we all possess. This can be important during a time of year when many of us are bombarded with advertisements aimed at convincing us that we need things. Combat the feelings of deficit and reflect on all that you have: people in your life you are grateful for, experiences you’ve had that you wouldn’t trade in for anything, moments that you cherish. Gratitude is magical and I am confident you will find that the more thanks you give, the more you receive.
2) Make something for others…Giving homemade gifts can be daunting to some. The act of giving something to others that came from your own mind, heart and hands is a humbling and rewarding experience. It is like giving someone a piece of yourself and if you are not confident that a piece of you has value (or if you’re simply not confident in your handmade gift making skills) it can feel scary to offer these types of presents to others: What if they don’t like it? What if it’s ugly? What if they think it’s dumb? etc etc. The fears are real and it’s okay! However, the reality is, most people (especially the people who love you) will be so impressed, grateful and touched by the thoughtfulness, time and COURAGE that went into crafting their gift that your fears will melt away in the exchange and you’ll likely form an even closer bond with the people you’ve given your presents to. Handmade gifts can range from simple cards with thoughtful notes written on them, home baked goodies, a collection of recipe cards, or a whole host of simple DIY crafts from a scroll through Pinterest. Try encouraging others in your life to give only handmade gifts this year too!
3) Take a leisurely walk…too often we are rushing about in a frenzy this time of year. Quiet your mind and reconnect with your surroundings by taking a slow walk in the woods, your yard or even your neighborhood. Take time to notice…what sounds do you hear? do you notice any birds or animals? What is their behavior like this season? What do you see? Shapes, colors, people, nature? If you are in the woods, what signs of winter growth do you notice? Dormant buds on trees? Green moss or ferns encased in snow or ice? What does the air feel like on your skin? What smells are in the air…chestnuts roasting? Wood fire stoves? Pine trees? Or city smells? When we slow down we give ourselves the opportunity to experience our world in a new light. This creates space to see new perspectives and perhaps let go of the “I must do…” mentality and simply be in the joy of the moment.
What are ways you stay grounded? Please share your tips and tricks as we all make our way through the season as thoughtfully as we can.