The holiday season can often feel like a whirlwind of emotion. It can be exciting, alienating, fulfilling and exhausting all at once. People from all different faiths and backgrounds are preparing to bid goodbye to the year through ritual or celebration. For a few weeks, everyone’s everyday is transformed - even activities like going grocery shopping can turn into a game of dodgem cars as you navigate the hoards of holiday shoppers. To help guide you along this rollercoaster of emotions, Woven Threads has come up with a one-stop-shop for wellness advice, mindful gifts and how to give back to your community.
How to: Wellness
Despite the vivid image of family gathering around a fireplace that the holidays conjure up, the end of the year is statistically when people feel most lonely. This can be due to estrangement from family and friends or people struggling to be their true self around their loved ones. It is important to register your emotions. If you feel loneliness creeping in, why not see if your local area has a club that you can join? Book clubs, surf clubs or local choirs can be a great way to meet new people with similar interests to you.
During the holidays, relied-upon routines can fall away, leaving space for feelings of doubt or sadness. In many religions, the end of year celebrations are about doing good for others, but you cannot help others without first looking after yourself. Be sure to find time amongst the chaos to take time for yourself. Whether this looks like going for morning walks or taking a day to read by the ocean, it is important to prioritise your wellbeing during this often tumultuous time.
How to: Mindful gifting
Gift giving has become a holiday tradition across many religions and cultures. Giving someone a thoughtful present is incredibly generous, but in today’s age of overconsumption and environmental degradation, it is important to be mindful about what gifts you are giving. Instead of rushing to the shopping centre, do some research and find some gifts with no environmental impact. Oxfam has developed an initiative called Oxfam Unwrapped, where you donate money to charity on behalf of the person you are gifting to. If this doesn’t spark your interest, why not buy movie or theatre tickets for you and your friend. You can support the arts industry and spend quality time with a loved one, all without contributing to consumerism!
How to: give back
After making sure to look after your wellbeing and spending time giving mindful gifts, it can be easy to overlook giving back to your community. It is important to consider ways that you can lend your time, money or resources in order to support the more vulnerable members of society. This could look like donating to the Vinnies Christmas Appeal or seeing if your local area has a homeless shelter that is looking for volunteers. Perhaps you can go through your wardrobe and see if there are any clothes or blankets that you could donate. Even small actions build to create greater change, and the holiday season is a great time to kickstart this change.