How to stress less and hygge more during the holidays
Oh 'tis the season for good tidings, merriment, and stressing out...am I right? I mean there is so much to do and so little time. You feel pressured to have the perfect home, be the perfect host, buy the perfect gift, all while keeping your cool like you had this all planned out in April. Put the ice cream down and closed out the amazon app for a sec. Let's take a step back and discuss ways to stress less, and thereby hygge more, this holiday season. We've come up with a rather hyggelig guide. We've got you.
1. Be selective about traditions: Make the holidays about traditions that are important to your and your family, not ones that you are expected to partake in. If you celebrate Christmas, remember the first one was really really simple, so yours can be too. In fact all holidays this season often represent a historical event that was not filled with wreaths, trimmings, ginger cookies, and stocking stuffers. If you think about it, whatever you enjoy most is likely what makes you feel at home and reminds you of previous years or when you were young. Continue those traditions that you cherish and bring you closer together and ditch the ones that cost too much money or cause you stress. Maybe go on a Christmas light tour, light a candle each night, bake cookies together, watch a movie, or play Yahtzee by the fire.
2. Embrace togetherness and have fun: Being hygge is all about togetherness. It's bringing close family and friends together and making memories. It doesn't mean you have to host the most fabulous holiday party on the block, but it does mean you should make time for those you want to be near. Pick and activity outdoors so you can all be together without the pressure of decorating. Or host a hygge gathering and invite a smaller crew for a simple cozy evening and provide hyggelig treats such as blankets, slippers, and baked goods. Keep the decor simple with candles, twinkle lights, and foraged tree trimmings from your backyard.
3. Take in the outdoors: What would a hyggelig holiday be without the outdoors? Hygge is about the contrast between the harsh elements outdoors and the warm and cozy feeling you get inside. But you must experience both to appreciate them more. Make a point to take a walk, breath in the fresh air, allow mother nature to ground you. Maybe do some candlelit caroling, go on a neighborhood Christmas light tour, start a New Years hike tradition. Similarly bring the outdoors in, by decorating with fresh trimmings for your yard, a holly bush you walked by, or pieces of dry wood in a basket or bucket by the fire. Anything to connect you with nature.
4. The art of saying no: Practice, practice, practice saying "no", "non", "nej". A large group of people might be called a "no thanks" to you. A night out on the town might be a "nah I have a date with a hallmark movie" response. Being asked to host the office holiday party should definitely be a "maybe next year, I'm busy washing my hair" kind of night. It's okay to say no, its more important to go easy on yourself. You come first, because you cannot, repeat... cannot be a good friend, wife, mama, and drinking buddy if you aren't the best version you can be. So take the time (I know there isn't much, we already discussed that) and make it a priority to treat yo' self. Instead of agreeing to attend whatever social event, take a bath, light a fire, get a massage, pedicure, Netflix it up, eat that doughnut...whatever, but you do you.
5. Take things slow: Imagine your days and nights closing out the year in slow-motion and try and soak it all in. Make a list of what you need to do, prioritize it, and then draw a line across the middle. Aim to achieve the top half and be okay with not doing the ones at the bottom. At the end of the day/year, are those really that important? These few weeks left are going in a flash and before we know if they will be gone. Instead of being overwhelmed with being overwhelmed, try to remain in the present moment. Dim the lights, eat slowly, drink slowly, read stories to your kids slowly. Just Breathe and take it all in.
6. OMG only two weeks to guy gifts! Insert screaming face emoji. So yes, while it's the season for giving, they don't have to be expensive, complicated, or even tangible gifts. Gifts can be free or very inexpensive, you can make something homemade, bake a pie, craft an ornament, enlarge and frame a photo, make a movie or album of this year's greatest memories, or place an assortment of inexpensive gifts in a basket. You can provide a service, coupons for babysitting, tickets to a show, a massage, booking an airbnb for the night. And lastly, presentation is key. You can make the least expensive gift look amazing if you put some thought into its packaging. Add a dehydrated orange, bell, or tree trimming to your gift wrapping. Ribbons, twine, get creative.
7. Bringing it home. Lastly be grateful for all that you have and be mindful of all you do not need. Amazon wish lists will not fill the void. Only mindfulness and love can. Set yourself up for success by being kind to yourself and others, having realistic expectations, asking for help, and above all be in the moment.
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