With all the hustle and bustle of the festive season, it’s easy to forget to take any time out for yourself. Ahead of the New Year’s approach, make it your mission to carve out some dedicated moments of reflection. Whether that’s being more present and really appreciating the time you’re spending with family and friends or simply taking a precious half hour to daydream and find some internal stillness, Buzzfeed journalist, and author of 101 Tiny Changes to Brighten Your Day, Ailbhe Malone shares some of the ways she’ll be consciously switching off before the new year arrives.
Settle into the holidays, and think about things that will make you feel good. That doesn’t have to mean cashmere joggers but it could be a pair of comfy tracksuit bottoms or cosy pyjamas. Make a conscious decision to be comfortable at home. For a lot of us, our ‘cosy clothes’ aren’t actually that cosy; they’re old T-shirts that have come to the end of their life. Decide to make your loungewear something you actually enjoy wearing, not an afterthought.
It’s difficult not to compare yourself to others around Christmas and New Year – it’s a natural time for reflection. So use the ‘notes’ app on your phone to write down things that you’re proud of. The next time you’re being hard on yourself, flip open the app and glance down at the best things about yourself. These don’t have to be full statements; they can be as simple as ‘left work right on time’ or something you like about yourself.
Try to find some internal stillness. I know, I know, this is the meditation bit. You could try a guided meditation app, or you could lean into your daydreamer tendencies. Create a scenario in which you get to imagine rich detail; for example, I can happily plan my dream lavish wedding, or what I’d do if were a popstar. Or, if you don’t have the time or desire to wander too deep into daydreams, focus on something concrete – like the buds on the plants on your windowsill; marvel at how the sun’s energy is turning them into flowers ever so slowly.