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Embracing a Slower, More Intentional Holiday Season

Undoubtedly these holidays are going to look different than we are used to. Instead of focusing on what we are “missing out” on, what if we focused on what the opportunity our current situation is providing. It is providing the space to embrace a slow, more intentional holiday season. It allows us to forgo the usual madness of the holidays when we are trying to juggling work potlucks, buying presents for what seems like every person we have ever met, hosting the whole family or better yet the travelling roadshow of visiting all of our family members one-by-one. It’s a lot. Although it is a joyous time, it can leave us feeling exhausted and depleted.

I am sure at some point in the past we have all wished for a less chaotic holiday, with less time spent on tackling our to-do lists and running and more time spent simple being and enjoying. This year is our opportunity for that. We can celebrate the holidays in a new meaningful way, that still allows us to rest and recover.

I am not denying this is going to be a challenging holiday season with limited ability to celebrate with our friends and family, however I think the holiday is creating an opportunity to adopt a new way of connecting and celebrating the holidays.

Check out these tips for a slower, more intentional holiday season.

Be intentional with your time and energy by planning ahead. We’ve all had those holidays where they have come and gone in the blink of an eye. We had all these great intentions of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to spend our time, but instead our days somehow were filled with other things. Before you start your holidays, reflect on how you want to spend your time and energy this holiday season, it could be doing quintessential holiday activities like baking sweet treats or taking strolls to check out Christmas decorations, or something else you feel called to do right now. Maybe it’s time to create a new holiday tradition? Next, actually plan when you want to get those activities in. This will help you keep on track with your plans, but also give you a sense of how realistic your intentions are. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • How do I want to spend my time and energy?

  • What is important to me right now?

  • How am I going to ensure I have time to rest and recover?

  • Are there things I feel like obligated or expected to do but do not want to? Let go of the things we “should” do.

Embrace a new sense of connection. Our inability to get together with our friends and family this holiday is a huge challenge we are forced to face. For many, the holidays are all about connecting and spending time with loved ones. This year we are called to be more creative with how we see togetherness. I get it, people are over Zoom calls and FaceTimes, but maybe we can incorporate more engaging, personalized elements into our virtual get togethers. Go beyond the usual video call by planning a fun activity to do together or maybe a common hobby, picking a fun theme or choosing a signature cocktail and menu for everyone to enjoy in their own spaces. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to connect with this holiday ?

  • How can I connect with them?

  • How can I make the quality time more meaningful and personalized to us and our relationship?

  • How can I honour those who I am unable to connect with?

Give yourself grace when it comes to your healthy habits. Normally this is the time many of our healthy habits fall by the wayside, those daily workouts are fair and few between and the holiday sweets are calling your name. It’s okay to enjoy your holidays and give your body what it's asking for in the moment. If you decide to have a second helping of pie, gorge yourself on the cheese platter or pause your gym sessions until January, that’s okay. Beating yourself up about these choices is not going to change the situation, simply make you feel guiltier which can lead to further “derailment” of your goals. Going into the holidays choose what aspects of your healthy habits you want to commit to maintain, choose which ones might be modified and choose which one are going on the back burner for now. Once you have made those decisions, honour and respect them. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What healthy habits do I want to maintain over the holidays?

  • What healthy habits am I going to modify over the holidays?

  • What healthy habits am I putting on hold over the holidays?

  • What does my body, mind and soul need right now?

If you are looking for healthier holiday recipes, check out our two Healthier for the Holidays Recipe Books. They offer all the quintesecual holiday flavours all while nourishing your body.

I hope you take this unique opportunity to embrace the relaxing holidays that you have always hoped for. Take the time to prioritize yourself and those you care about and fill your holidays with what is important to you.

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