Live Consciously This Christmas
What a year post a pandemic! We ventured back into life with some trepidation, harmonising work and life, and personal and social lives. Globally the world is still experiencing a lot of extremes in weather, financial markets, environmental impacts and we are here today surviving and hopefully thriving through it all. Here is our survival guide to maintaining balance, calm and awareness throughout the silly season and beyond...
Simplify and eliminate the non-essentials
Simplification is a useful tool that can be applied to every facet of our personal and professional lives.
Author Marie Kondō writes,
“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”
This sentiment extends beyond the physical items in our space. Especially as we move out of lockdown and into the chaos of Christmas, consider the boundaries you can put in place to safeguard your time and the positive habits built in lockdown.
It is easy to throw ourselves back into work as we return to the office or commit to social occasions to make up for lost time - but the flow on effect of these decisions may look like less time for your morning walk, or sheer exhaustion in the evenings that leaves no time for journaling or reflection.
What occasions and commitments are you genuinely looking forward to? Which will spark joy? And is there space to simplify? Can you attend one less dinner or Christmas party? Can you pre-arrange your Christmas shopping online as opposed to braving the shops? What about being truly present and engaged at one family Christmas instead of travelling around to three?
Decisions like these can be hard to make but ultimately they are immediate choices that affect our future happiness, health and consciousness.
Use Christmas as a time to reflect and connect authentically
Christmas is an important and anticipated time for us to connect with families and friends. But how can we shift our focus from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ with one another. We do not have to connect with everyone in our circle, consider the people ‘who fill your cup’ and spend more time with people that lift you.
Plus, how can we use those rare moments without work in between Christmas and New Years to reflect upon the year past, refocus and calibrate for the year ahead?
To do this, we can return to the very activities we embraced in lockdown…
- Journaling: Spare ten minutes everyday to document the moments that made you feel fulfilled and happy throughout the last year and during the Christmas period. You could do this in a traditional journal or using a mindfulness app like myhaventime which can be taken with you anywhere.
- Gratitude: Foster more authentic connection by writing a letter to a loved one expressing your gratitude for their presence in your life — this is much more meaningful than a hallmark Christmas card.
- Meditation: Try a loving-kindness meditation to build self-love and thoughts to those who you cannot see over Christmas.
- Making: Remember what brought you joy in lockdown? Whether it was painting or sourdough making, put new skills to use by ‘making’ a gift as opposed to buying something that will be long forgotten come January.
Much of the joy at Christmas comes from gifting.
After the awakening of lockdown — where we embraced simplicity, built self-awareness, shopped locally, became more hands-on, and experienced a shift in values — it feels counterintuitive to rush to a large mall and buy gifts simply because.
This year, think outside of the box when gifting for friends, family or colleagues.
You could look to organisations and charities to donate on behalf of the gift recipient. For example, at Greenfleet you can select to purchase 5 native trees that will be protected for 100 years. This is a thoughtful gift with a long-lasting impact, unlike much of the mass-produced products that will end up in landfill in the months after Christmas.
Like we mentioned above, putting new skills to use and making something for a loved one is a meaningful alternative to purchasing a last-minute gift card, pair of socks or stocking stuffer.
That said, despite our best efforts to ‘simplify’ our lives after lockdown, the Christmas period can feel unavoidably busy. If you don’t have time to make a gift, shop consciously for products or brands that are local, sustainable and will be genuinely useful for the recipient in the months and years to come.
Some ideas include…
- A voucher to a local cafe, restaurant, store or studio which was impacted by lockdown
- A membership to a personal and professional development app like myhaventime which means the recipient can grow, invest in themselves and learn throughout the year
- Purchasing from a marketplace such as Buy From the Bush which supports rural Australian communities and businesses
- A mindfulness+ gift box from myhaventime: our new gift box which contains a collection of inspiring, local and sustainable pieces to enrich the lives of your friends, families or clients. With organic tea, essential oil and diffusers, journals and much more, the mindfulness+ gift box is designed to foster a sense of awareness and consciousness throughout Christmas time and into the new year.
"To become more conscious is the greatest gift anyone can give to the world; moreover, in a ripple effect, the gift comes back to its source" - David R. Hawkins
We wish you peace and joy over the holiday season and for 2023.