CulturallyOurs Ways to enjoy a simpler holiday season

8 Ways To Enjoy A Simpler Holiday Season

CulturallyOurs Ways to enjoy a simpler holiday season

The holiday season is upon us. Are you someone who gets stressed with all the things that need to be done? Or do you tend to take a more calm and laidback approach to the holidays?

The holidays are certainly one of the most festive times of the year all around the world. But it can also be a very stressful season. Homes to be decorated, things to be bought, food to be cooked, family gathering to be hosted, parties to plan. The list can seem endless. It is easy to let holiday anxiety to get to you. Instead how about approaching the season with mindfulness. Simplify the holidays so that they are more about enjoying rather than stressing.

Last year we shared easy reminders to enjoy the holidays with more mindfulness. This year we are sharing ten practical ways to plan a minimal and meaningful Christmas and holiday season.

Start small. Perhaps take a few things off your plate. Remember it is perfectly okay to take  small steps and perhaps even do a couple of things on this list. Or find other ways to make a more meaningful impact – even if it is just for one person.CulturallyOurs Ways to enjoy a simpler holiday season

#1 Give to charity instead of Christmas gifts or holiday cards

Do you remember Nancy Economou, our guest from Season 03 of the CulturallyOurs podcast. She used a single life experience to change her whole life around by starting Watts Of Love, a organization tasked with lighting the world one solar light at a time. While that might not be for everyone, we all can do something meaningful this holiday season to embrace a more minimal mindset. There are lots of charities doing amazing work. Try to find local ones that provide support in your own community. That way you are making an impact right where you live, work and play. Sure, that incredible deal of buy 2 get 1 free sound amazing and who can resist right? But try to resist. Ask yourself what else can you be doing with that money? How can you help someone else in need?

#2 Give experiences instead of things

If you do feel the need to buy gifts for loved ones this holiday season, why not give gifts that are thoughtful and can be experienced. Maybe buy a gift card to a local massage parlor or support a small business owner by buying handmade soaps and lotions. Think experience over things especially one-and-done type items.

#3 Budget your spending

During the holidays it is so easy to exceed all budgets and just put everything on a credit card, right? After all things bought on credit don’t need to be paid off right away. If you must buy gifts for friends and family, try and keep within a manageable budget. Maybe even decide on a budget amount among each other so as to keep everyone in check. That way there’s isn’t a guilt of having to exceed budgets and gift beyond your means.

#4 Choose simple decorations in and around the house

Keep your decorations simple and manageable. Select handmade, homemade decorations over fancy store-bought ones. A simple string of noodle necklace that you may make with your kids or everyone’s handprints with little notes at the back is so much more meaningful that buy cheap trinkets from the store. And remember one Christmas tree is more than enough. Perhaps even decorate the Christmas tree in your backyard instead of chopping down a tree that is just going to be discarded within the week.CulturallyOurs Ways to enjoy a simpler holiday season

#5 Vision boarding with the family

Think vision boards are only for the new year. Think again. A vision board is a great way to look forward and think about how you envision your life. Why not use that concept and create a vision board for the holidays? Create a holiday vision and write it down. Put feelings and emotions on the board instead of material things. Think about the kind of mood you want and how you want your holidays to make you feel. Keep coming back to this to refocus every time you find yourself stressed and tired.

#6 Opt Outside

REI, an outdoor lifestyle brand coined this term of #optoutside as an alternative to Black Friday shopping here in the States. Since then, there are over 13 million tags on Instagram with this hashtag with more and more people opting for a walk to a hike outdoors instead of spending time in shopping in the mall. Use this concept for other things as well. Instead of catching up with friends over yet another meal out, go for a winter walk instead and spend quality time together.

#7 Get of that device and more into what you are doing

While social media can be a great way to connect, get inspired and also learn about different things, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction and connections. Social media can have a reverse effect of jealous, comparison and promoting feelings of worthlessness. After all the holidays are a time to recharge, reconnect and spend time with the people you love right? So, take some time to switch off technology. It is the easiest and cheapest way to get some breathing space and stop comparing yourself to other people.

#8 Don’t be afraid to say no

You don’t have to be everything for everyone. It is okay to say no to something you really don’t want to do and use that time to do something you do. You have worked hard this whole year. Now is the time to get a mental and physical reset and get ready to head into the new year refreshed for all the amazing possibility that are going to come your way. Manifest your greatest year and say ‘no thank you’ to things that will only bog you down.

No matter how you decide to simplify your holiday season, remember the thoughts and sentiments behind the holidays. Make it all about being with family, friends and people you care. Make it all about enjoying moments together. Nobody will remember whether you were a good host/hostess or not, they will remember how special you made them feel by being present in the moment.

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