Updated: Nov 13
This time of year is a dichotomy for me. We are in a season of slowing down; even Mother Nature is shedding her leaves and going within, and because we are nature, you may find your body nudging you to slow down by requiring more rest.
However, the holiday season is upon us. Although it can be a time of joy and celebration, it can also be a time of busyness, stress, and anxiety. I understand firsthand that the holiday season can be a lot to handle, bringing up feelings of being overwhelmed.
I often find myself overwhelmed this time of year with working a full-time job, running a business, taking care of a family, and throwing in all the holiday to-dos, societal expectations, and pressures that come with the holiday season. For me, that is a recipe for cracks to appear in my mental and emotional well-being and possibly a full-on breakdown. However, for me, the feeling of being overwhelmed is a good thing.
Wait! Hear me out. Our emotions guide us into a specific course of action. Overwhelm notifies you that what is occurring is unsustainable for your mental and physical health. Should you choose to ignore the feeling and push through it, you may very well find yourself at burnout or worse.
Experiencing the feeling of being overwhelmed is your personal reminder to slow down. How can you slow down amidst the chaos of the holidays and "the doing"? Take a break from all the hustle and bustle, create small rituals, and be present in the moment.
Here are some of my favorite winter rituals that help me connect with the season's rhythm.
Light candles: Candles create a cozy and calming atmosphere, and they can be especially soothing during the long, dark evenings of winter. Try lighting candles in the evening while you relax or read a book.
Drink tea: A warm cup of tea can be incredibly comforting, especially on a cold day. Try brewing a cup of your favorite tea and savoring the flavors and aromas for a few moments. I will even bundle up and sit outside with my cup of tea, inhaling the crisp winter air while sipping the warm brew.
Spend time outdoors: Take a short mindful walk or hike to immerse yourself in nature's winter beauty. Notice the colors, textures, and sounds of the natural world.
Practice mindfulness: Take a few minutes daily to sit quietly, focus on your breath, and tune in to your senses. Notice the season's sights, sounds, and smells and fully experience them.
Remember to cherish the small moments, connect with loved ones, and find joy in the simple things. You deserve to fully experience the beauty and wonder of the holiday season while feeling in tune with the slowness of the winter season.