A recent blog post from a friend inspired me to come up with a unique way to spend the holidays this year. Connie Lawrence, a Clinical Social Worker on Cleveland’s eastside proposed a contest to develop “Your craziest ideas on how to rework these holidays.” Directions involved coming up with ideas that revive your spirit, deepen connections and refresh the planet in some way. A random post would be selected to win a $65 gift certificate at the Creative Healing Center in Bainbridge.
The hope is to add a little more health, a little more meaning to the “downtime” the holidays bring. As hectic as they can be, those last two weeks of the year are a valuable time to reflect on ourselves and our families.
Rather than the 12 Days of Christmas, I propose we set aside the last two weeks of December (when schools are closed and many offices are slow anyway) to create the 12 Days of Extraordinary Self Care, Deepening Connections and Planet Care. On these 12 days, families would take the time to do 1 thing in each category.
12 Days of Self Care
From Dec. 20 to 31, do one thing that is just slightly above and beyond what you would normally do to care for yourself. This could be taking the time to do something you’ve been putting off for when “you’ll have more time.” Or to try a new health/wellness service such as massage therapy, reflexology or acupressure to de-stress or heal a pain. This could even be just to make yourself pause for 15 minutes to breathe or meditate/zone out in peace. (I know I don't let myself do this as often as I should!)
12 Days of Deeper Connections
Do one thing or one activity each of the 12 days with family or friends to strengthen those important bonds you share. This could be to simply to call someone you miss, play a game with family members or cook together. But slow down. Let the holiday rush roll off your shoulders and just experience and enjoy each other.
12 Days of Green
Do 1 thing each of the 12 days that is supportive of our environment. This could be reading up on an environmental problem, talking with your kids about an issue you support or simply making sure you recycle or reuse something that day.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!