“Doing those deeply unfashionable things—slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting—is a radical act now, but it is essential” –Katherine May
How can we slow down this Christmas?
Winter is upon us and Christmas is officially around the corner. This brings a variety of mixed feelings for many of us, with some embracing the whole vibe and others steering totally clear. Or perhaps you find yourself somewhere in the middle? As nature heads into hibernation mode, we are (quite contrastingly) gearing ourselves up for Christmas parties, sugary feasts, bright lights and jaunty Christmas tunes, which all have their charms, but can also be quite overwhelming.
Nature is slowing down and perhaps you need to. But can you? This blog will offer up some simple ideas for slowing down this Christmas. For stepping back, finding space, and slowness, which is perhaps considered a little bit radical. But it might be exactly what you need.
Here are a handful of benefits to slowing down a bit:
- Reduced stress, which will support your mental health and physical wellbeing
- More energy, let’s face it- it’s been a busy year and you probably need a rest!
- More enjoyment as you take those moments to really savour the festivities
So how can we do this?
1. Mindfulness: don’t forget to step back and practise some mindfulness. It’s so easy to get so caught up in it all, that we often forget to actually enjoy the moment. So take those moments to just be. This will allow you to make the most of quality time with friends and family alongside giving you pause to tune in with how you’re feeling. So ask yourself, what do I need?
- 2. Movement: it’s natural to be less active during winter and especially over Christmas, but it is important to keep practising some movement. Perhaps a little bit of yoga, some short walks or simple stretches. If you can head to the beach or into the woods to feel that cold air surrounded by nature then all the better. And cosy up a cup of tea and mince pie afterwards, of course.
3. Sleep: our routines can go a bit haywire over the holidays, but don’t forget how important sleep is! Especially when we are being extra sociable, surrounded by sugar-filled children and perhaps somewhat challenging family members. Sleep supports our nervous system and helps us to reach for that extra piece of patience, when needed.
4. Solitude: take those moments of quiet, that are just for you. This may sound utterly impossible if you have a busy family life, but can you practise setting those boundaries by asking for some alone time? Even just 10 minutes. Those moments can be super restorative and prove especially important when we are being extra sociable.
5. And finally…let go and enjoy: there are so many expectations around what Christmas ‘should’ look like and what makes it perfect. Do what you can and then try to relinquish the rest.
Nervous system support
Supporting our nervous system helps us to manage anxiety and stress levels, achieve healthy sleeping patterns and just generally maintains our inner calm. If you find yourself wanting or needing some extra help then there are a variety of local wellbeing practitioners nearby providing therapies such as yoga, reflexology, acupuncture and coaching. Head over to explore our wellbeing businesses.
You can also support your mind and body with a calming herbal tea, such as the nourishing herb blend suggested below:
A calming brew recipie, just for you:
- Lemon balm
- Passion flower
Wherever this festive season takes you, we hope that you have a beautiful time. This time of year offers some lovely moments for really connecting and having fun with your community, which is something we often don’t find time to do. And if at any point you do find yourself a little too swept up in the whirlwind of social splendour then, offer yourself the permission to step back, take a breath and pause.
Words by Heather.
Connecting people to nature.
Heather works for Feel Good Norfolk and is a medical herbalist in training. Once she qualifies she will be working intentionally with women to support their reproductive and hormonal health for improving physical and emotional well being. She has an MSc in environmental sciences and integrates nature into all aspects of her daily life and herbal practice.
* All herbal medicines should be taken with care. Please seek advice from a trained medical herbalist and if harvesting your own plants, please do so sustainably and cautiously.