In our quest for a magical holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in a frenzy of shopping, wrapping, and generally doing too much. Instead of being a warm and wonderful experience, holidays can become overwhelming, stressful, and draining. This takes a toll on our mental, physical, and financial wellbeing, and it’s not so great for our planet either.
Society encourages us to spend, buy, and consume. It’s time to rethink some of our holiday traditions and reconnect with what’s meaningful. We only have so many resources – just like our planet. The holidays have become a time to ignore limitations for the sake of celebration.
Taking a simplified approach can help reduce stress and bring more joy. Take some time to reflect on which traditions are meaningful and enjoyable and which ones have outlived their usefulness. Let go of what doesn’t work anymore.
This year spend more quality time with the people you care about, and make gratitude and appreciation the centerpiece of your celebrations. Look for ways to reduce the mental, physical, and financial stress this holiday season.
Set boundaries to protect your energy and reduce stress levels. Rethink your options and prioritize holiday events and activities. Say no to obligations that drain your energy or enthusiasm. You can only do so much.
Buy less stuff
Simplify gift giving. Consider drawing names to reduce the number of gifts you purchase. Reducing the number of gifts gives you more time and money. With less to shop for, wrap, and worry about, you free yourself to enjoy more of what is important. Consider gifts of time spent together or other eco-friendly gifts (see links below).
How much is enough? Outdated expectations can take a mental or physical toll. Let go of some traditions that may be causing your stress like holiday cards, decorations, piles of presents, platters of cookies, or excessive activities. Where can you simplify?
Less is more
We all like presents but they come with a cost: time shopping, financial burden, wrapping, shipping, and items that get tossed in the landfill. The burden of excessive purchasing isn’t only hard on our mental and financial health, it is also harmful for our planet.
Forgo purchasing new decorations that will need to be packed up and stored until next year or tossed. Adding some simple greenery that can later be placed in the green bin brings nature inside and can create a calming effect.
Holiday meals can be time consuming, expensive, and packed with fats and sugars. Save time, energy, and calories by reducing the number of dishes, scaling back on the expensive cuts of meat, or offering a plant-based meal.
With all the holiday hustle and bustle, taking time for yourself may seem impossible. Caring for yourself isn’t selfish. A healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and getting outside to enjoy nature can help give you the energy to make the holiday season merry and bright.
Change doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start where you are and implement small changes you feel comfortable with. Focus on gratitude, kindness, and compassion. Remember, less stress might be just what you and your loved ones want most.
Wishing you a happy holiday season filled with love and laughter. For more eco-friendly gift ideas, check out 13 Ways to Make the Festive Season Greener from Positive.News, and these past SCOCO articles: Greener Holidays and Green Friday