Nurturing a meaningful and less stressful Christmas
I've been thinking about this a lot recently, and how small changes we can make both in our mindset and our actions can make a significant difference to our levels of anxiety and stress.
While some contributing factors are out of our control, let's focus on the things that are within it!
I think it all boils down to being intentional with our time and actions. When we're deciding on gifts for our loved ones, if we're a bit short on money (as I know a lot of us are this year), let's be really conscientious about where we're spending it. Think about meaning and longevity. Does the gift represent something special about your relationship with the other person? Will it be used/worn/admired long after the tree has been shoved back in the loft/recycled? Will it bring joy to their lives for a truly magical moment or months or even years to come?
Birthstone necklaces, bestsellers last Christmas
Also think about asking yourself this; can I purchase this or something similar from a small or local business, rather than just defaulting to Amazon or other such retail giants?
Supporting small businesses brings so much joy and meaning to every single person involved - you know you're spending your money where it will actually make a real and tangible difference to someone's life - it enables the seller to continue to pay for their child's swimming lessons, or pay their bills, or put food on the table. And lastly but by no means the least, the person receiving the gift has something that will bring them joy and pass on all that wonderfully infectious love and passion that both created the piece, and inspired the gifting from you to them.
Eco-Silver necklaces and earrings, the perfect gift for your environmentally conscious friends
On a practical note, any little wins to cut down on jobs to do can make a big difference to our mental load at this time of year!
A great place to start is, when buying your Christmas presents, see if the seller offers gift wrapping.
I offer gift wrapping all year round, but this Christmas I am also including a beautiful Christmas card which I will hand write with your personalised note, and send the order direct to your loved one.
When you're viewing the item in your basket in my Etsy shop, simply tick the box "This order is a gift" and you will see your options to upgrade to Gift Wrapping and also a box to add your personal note. Complete the purchase and I will do all the rest - you can tick off another job from your To Do list, and know that your order will be wrapped beautifully and sent promptly to your loved one with just a click of a button!
Christmas gift wrapping, 2021
Christmas can be a challenging time for our mental health also, for myriad reasons, and anything we can do to support and be kind to ourselves will go a long way. I hope these tips help somewhat, and if you are feeling the mental load this festive season, or are interested in reading a bit more about managing our expectations of Christmas emotions - as well as how we can support our local businesses - then I highly recommend reading this blog post by local Therapist Malachy Dunne of Lifetime Therapy (based in Falmouth, Cornwall):
It's a fantastic and thought provoking read that mirrors my recent thoughts on having a conscientious and intentional Christmas this year. But I would expand on his one point regarding shopping online - I believe you will still get the feel-good vibes from buying from a small independent maker/store virtually as you would in store. It's about supporting small businesses wherever we can, to really make a difference.
So please do consider supporting small businesses this year, both online and in bricks and mortar shops.
As Malachy quotes Peter Seegar in the article as saying, "Think Globally, and Act Locally".
Click to read the article by Lifetime Therapy founder, Malachy Dunne
Make it matter
Our loved ones are so special to us, and deserve something equally meaningful at this time when we want to show our love and appreciation for those who make our lives so much brighter.
So let's pledge to be extra thoughtful with our festive decisions this year, and spend our hard earned money in thoughtful ways to bring joy to those dear to us, and also support our local and small business wherever we are able to, to spread the love and kindness even further.
Will you join me?