It was just summer and now it’s crispy, crunchy fall….
But is it just me, or are you a little freaked out seeing holiday decorations in the aisles of the drugstores and red cups at the coffee shop already?
If you’re like me, you enjoy the idea of the holidays, but the thought of another year when everything goes a little of the rails is not something you’re looking forward to.
You’re afraid of falling in the same ol’ trap again. The one where you start the holiday season with the best of intentions, but then it spirals out of control. You’ll run out of time, you’ll spend more than you want to, you’ll shove snowflake-shaped cookies in your mouth at record speed to try to calm your nerves. And, once you’ve come to, you’ll feel guilty because how could this happen again?!
Well, I’m here to tell you it can be different this time around.
The secret to doing holidays differently – the antidote for feeling like you aren’t giving enough, loving enough, or being enough this holiday season – is in taking the time to reconnect to your creative self.
When we take the time to play with our hands and create something beautiful, we experience a greater connection with ourselves and the world around us.
Working with your hands calms your nervous system, brings you into the present moment, and reignites that spark of passion and creativity that only be had by connecting to your intuition
And what better time to reconnect to your inner wise, creative self than during the holiday season?
Here are four practices for a calmer, happier holiday season.
I challenge you to make space to try them for yourself, and see how magical your holidays can be.
1. Decorate Your Space
This is one of my favorite autumn/winter activities, and it doesn’t need to take all day. I usually first spend 15 minutes tidying one room in my home, and then bring in natural elements of the season to inspire and ground me. I’m a big fan of pine cones, dried leaves, and fruits and vegetables as a table centerpiece.
This is where you can get creative. You can go on Pinterest if you need inspiration, but I recommend trusting your creative intuition and getting creative. You could string popcorn on fishing line like the old days. You could dust acorns in gold glitter and place them in a mason jar. You could slice lemons and oranges really thin, dry them in the sun or oven, and string them up as a garland over your doorway.
Spending some time adorning your space will help drop you into your inner creative wise woman – the artist, the creator, the peaceful woman who is content by simply being.
2. Schedule Creative Time into Your Calendar
Trust me when I say time is going to feel like it’s shrinking by the time Thanksgiving rolls around unless you have a plan for creativity and relaxation.
I know that may sound counter-intuitive (I have to plan for being calm and happy?), but trust me it’s true. Today’s ultra-connected world makes uninterrupted creative down time nearly impossible. So it’s all about getting intentional with your time and scheduling it in your calendar.
What gets scheduled gets done.
So open up your calendar to the holiday months and mark a few afternoons (or a whole day!) for you. Then you can decide how you want to spend it.
Maybe it means you spend the entire day off your computer or smart phone and plan out a creative project for yourself. Maybe it means you coordinate childcare so you can spend a few hours on a solo winter walk. Maybe it’s enlisting your kiddos as helpers and make a game of it – giving them specific things to find on a “nature treasure hunt”.
Whatever creative time you are craving, you must schedule it in your calendar during the holiday season. You’ll be so glad you did.
3. Go on an Inspiring Nature Walk
So many of us spend the holiday season sitting indoors or rushing around like maniacs trying to get everything done. This season, I want you to consider fitting in a few inspiring nature walks.
Don’t bring your phone or headphones for this one. Tune in to the leaves crunching under your feet, your breathing, and the smells and sounds of nature all around you. This is a moment for you to reflect on the true meaning of the season. The holiday season is born out of the pagan traditions of celebrating the light in the darkness. A time for pause, reflection, and intentions for peace before the year begins again.
View your nature walks as a moving meditation – a time to reconnect to yourself, to see the beauty in the nature around you, and to re-inspire your creative soul.
4. Hand-Make Your Holiday Gifts Ahead of Time
Get ahead of the holiday shopping rush and give yourself a treat by hand making your holiday gifts ahead of time.
When you give a person a gift you made with your own two hands, there is a magic that exchanges between you two – a deeper connection. You infused your love and meaning into that gift, and your gift recipient feels special and thought of in a manner that is vastly different from walking up and down the aisles of target frantically looking for a “just get something” present.
You are also giving yourself a gift in the process. By making gifts and truly being in the moment for the creation process, you can give not only a tangible token of your love, but positive intentions to those you cherish most.
Want a few ideas on handmade gifts to get started with?
How about homemade limoncello?
Or perhaps yoga mat cleaning spray?
I recommend making this delightful chai tea mix.
Take one of the times you scheduled for yourself and make one gift. I can guarantee you that you’ll be wanting more.
OK, creative gal. Time to get your dabble on and reconnect to your calm, inspired, and creative self this holiday season.
If you like what I’m talking about and are thinking you’d love a little more help with making your holiday season the best ever, then I invite you to learn more about A Handmade Holiday – my complete holiday gifting solution that not only solves your gift giving conundrum, but also provides you with all the elements to have a holiday season filled with creativity, meaning, and blissful deep sighs.
Photos courtesy of Rosa Delgado
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