Christmas is on its way, but more than that, a well-needed end of year break is on its way too. That’s not to say you don’t make a herculean effort to give everyone a wonderful Christmas or festival celebration each year, we’re sure you do. However, it’s also worth considering the fact that after 2020, we all deserve a little sit-down – if only to relax for a moment.
Giving yourself a much-needed break over the holidays, then, may not be seen as a nice thing to do, but almost a duty. It is your solemn task to take a load off and de-stress. Consider this the warmest permission possible.
But how can you do that? After all, we all have to take care of our families or arrange a smaller Christmas this year, or manage our finances with perhaps more-than-usual care. What matters is going at your own pace, and doing exactly that which is right for you. If you can achieve that, then odds are you’ll feel as rejuvenated as you can be for a much-better 2021:
Family time is so important for so many people. Of course, this has been a difficult year as far as that’s concerned. It might not be the most responsible idea for your family members to travel hundreds of miles to your home. However, it could be that if you plan it well, carefully calibrating a local family get together with those who live close could be possible.
Remember, family time can also be had over the internet, or through social media apps, even if that’s a very light-weight alternative to the real thing. Sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry. Regardless, spending time with your family members is important to do after such a year. Relaxing with your children, writing lovely letters to your grandchildren, or simply watching a lovely premiered movie at home with your siblings can be a great idea.
After a year like this, it’s also important to remind those closest to us what they mean to us. We can always put off doing this until a later date, because being so honest and open is quite a vulnerable position to be in. That said, it can truly help you get this off your chest, and as 2020 has shown us, taking nothing for granted is essential.
Time Spent Reading
Of course, some of us are so worn out that time simply spent nourishing ourselves should be considered of paramount importance. Time spent reading can certainly function in this way, and for the best.
Reading can often be seen as a hugely indulgent activity, but really, it’s quite a worthwhile element of self-care. It helps you train your mind while also relaxing it. It helps you take some time for yourself, which as we have suggested, might be your most important prescription right now. It can also help you think outside of your circumstances, and feel hope, fear, comfort, enjoyment, inspiration, and more.
Why not read something you’ve been meaning to get to? No matter if it’s a rip-roaring fantasy book, an amazing classic with incredible use of language, or even just a short story your friend has written, there’s an amazingly nourishing, cost-effective, and relaxing set of virtues behind reading a good book. And yes, a great novel can give you that much-needed break over the holidays.
Indulgence & Comfort
A little indulgence and comfort can be wonderful to invest in. You might decide to purchase a footrest for your living room couch, so that movie experiences are much more relaxed and informal. You may simply purchase a new doggie bed for your loving pet. Little things like this add up when trying to relax over the winter. Don’t discount them. Even something quite cheap but quite wholesome can help revolutionize how well you sleep, or how comfortable you feel, or how nourishing your home is.
A little aesthetic upgrade, such as RGB strip lights behind your television, can work amazingly with the candles you might light on a cool winter’s evening. This shows that even the most miniscule visual upgrades can help a room take on new life, and as we are our environment, we can draw comfort from this. Don’t believe us? That’s more than fine. Just give it a try if you’re inclined. You’ll see the difference.
Of course, our finances can often feel a little bit strained at this time of year, and it will likely be on your mind if you’ve entered into repayment plans or have simply purchased too much. However, many of us can find some form of relief in opting for a Wise Loan, in extending the payments through financing options, or in making use of late-winter deals. We might also decide to purchase our goods in the post-Christmas sales, eschewing a gift on that exact day to save a great percentage the next. Little techniques like this can really help you if you need that extra financial concession when balancing your books.
While traveling to new countries or booking Christmas holidays is not exactly the best idea right now, it could be possible to take little trips with your family members. Simply going for a long walk with your family member and getting a takeout coffee as you walk around the town could be a great means of stretching your legs.
It might be that there are many exterior Christmas events being run by your local church, such as a socially-distanced market, or even a Christmas lights competition for the entire neighborhood. Little trips can help you get outside of your four walls without having to worry about being irresponsible or spreading anything you’re not interested in spreading. Even going for a small walk with your little dog can be a great idea, provided it gets you out in nature. Don’t discount the power of these efforts, they can make all the difference going forward.
Crafts & Arts
Engaging yourself in a wonderful activity can be a great idea, and it can help you stay focused while practicing your creative intent. For instance, you might decide to build a replica model of a movie prop you adore. You might work with your nephew to build a set of miniature train tracks in your spare room. You might decide to knit a beautiful item of clothing, or apply more textiles work to revivify your wardrobe.
Remember, starting out as a complete beginner can help you grow and enjoy this hobby more than anything else. Purchasing an easel and a set of paints while following along with a Bob Ross television episode could be a lovely use of your time, and it may give you new confidence as a painter. People often feel their best when they’re actively creating, or actively appreciating art. Here’s the kicker – you don’t even have to be good. You’ll get better.
Self-Care & Exercise
Most of our advice thus far has been geared towards practicing the best self-care you can, but of course, physical care and exercise is one of the most foundational principles of this. Even if you’re not the fittest cookie in the jar, it’s important to keep yourself active, to stretch, to eat healthily, to get enough sleep, and to perform exercises now and again. Going for a walk each day, stretching your arms and legs, or practicing basic Yoga, there are many ways in which you can gain your physical activity requirements each day. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t overdo it, and that you don’t underdo it.
For instance, a program such as Couch 2 5k is very popular. Its baseline requirement is that you don’t have to be trained at all to start. In the first sessions, you will alternate slow walking and jogging, each interval timed, so you can move forward at your own pace. Then, this will slowly increase as your body adapts. Within nine to twelve weeks, you’ll be running 5 kilometers with ease. It’s a great way for people to become fitter and feel better in themselves. Don’t ignore the power of doing this – it can make all the difference.
Journaling Your Year’s Experience
While most of us are liable to try and forget this year as much as we can, journaling and reflecting also has its uses. For instance, it can help you feel more grateful when you write down the things you have learned and the lessons taught. It can help you see the silver linings, or the good things that happened underneath all the worry. If anything, this year has made us all stronger. That’s worth writing about too.
Of course, even if you’ve had a terrible year, it’s best to reflect on it as well. Journaling isn’t a means of forcing yourself to relive bad experiences, but rather it can help you organize, collect and express the thoughts that have been buzzing through your mind this entire time. This helps you put those impressions and thoughts to bed. It helps you better digest them. That’s a healthy practice. Remember, you don’t ever have to read these journal entries again. You can simply benefit from a nourished mind thanks to getting your most intimate feelings and thoughts out. For that reason, journaling and freehand writing is considered a similar alternative to talking therapies – only it’s private this time. It’s not hard to see what the value in this might be.
Get ready for next year
Thinking about what you need to do next may not sound much like giving yourself a break. But, knowing what you need to do now, rather than later, will give you time to prepare. It shouldn’t take long to go around your home and look at any necessary repairs or renovations you can book in for the new year. This could be a roofing contractor to fix gaps in your roof; it might be a fresh coat of paint to brighten up your home. You might even get lucky and find there’s nothing that demands your immediate attention, so you can relax and take the break you’ve more than earned.
With this advice, we hope you can enjoy a much-needed end of year break, perhaps all the more important when we consider what year we’ve just survived. Don’t forget – you deserve a little love, nourishment and attention too, even if that only comes from you.