Take a moment to just be.
The days between two major celebrations are often too chaotic. It is easy for our brains and hearts to turn on survival mode. Many good things going on, lots of incredible people, but with the joyous nostalgia that comes each year, there is a tendency for wounds of our past to surface. The best way to receive the gift of Christmas as well as welcome the promise of the New Year, is to take a step back and process everything. Our hearts and minds are better off when we take a moment to receive.
Our intention at Litany is to see the whole person. We realized there is no need for another glitter post about what to wear or not wear for New Year’s Eve, but there is always a need for a reminder to just be and receive.
Snuggly Nook and Candles
Create a quiet and cozy corner. Grab all available pillows and blankets and maybe even consider creating a blanket fort. Add some twinkle lights, candles, and your favorite playlist. Sometimes we need a place set aside to rest (some place other than the bed) in order that we intentionally turn off technology and acknowledge this as time to process and just be.
Read, Painting, and Puzzles
Our minds need to therapeutically rest. Find your favorite go-to novel or that book you have been putting off, pour some tea, and enjoy a little adventure of reading. Painting strokes on a canvas is enough in itself to calm nerves or lighten the mood—no need to have direction or something specific in mind—just enjoy the process. If paint is not available, humor yourself through coloring. Puzzles are a great way to take our minds off everything else because of the specific concentration it requires. The satisfaction of putting pieces together gives a release in itself (read more on the why behind the satisfaction with puzzles here: Why solving puzzles feels so satisfying, especially during a quarantine - The Washington Post).
Journal and Prayer
Just try it. Journaling is a great way for getting the spiraling thoughts, fears, and concerns out safely. Write it messy, in script, like a book, using calligraphy, or however best helps! It is easy to forget about prayer amidst all the craziness of preparations, cleaning, and constantly being “on”. Be intentional in seeking out the Lord during this in-between period of celebrations. It is still the Christmas season, and He desires to meet you where you are. He wants to give us good things and promises to provide us with the needed grace for our circumstances.
Walk with Coffee or Tea
Go on a walk with a friend or just yourself! Be sure to bring your favorite coffee or chai latte for that warm cozy feeling as you step through the brisk air. Try to notice the varying shades and colors around you even if they are dim. Walk through the area as if it is your first time. What do you appreciate? Reflect on what you are most grateful for—specific moments of the past year.
Bubble Bath, Painting Nails, and Hair-Care
First, have a good shower—a thorough cleaning—maybe even try a sugar scrub! Wash your hair like never before, from massaging the scalp to conditioning the ends, maybe even look up some hair-care tips. Buy some bubble bath—nothing fancy—just something that will make bubbles in the tub. Soak for as long as needed, maybe with some tunes playing in the background. Put on your favorite pajamas or loungewear and trim/paint your toes. Take your time with the process. This is your time to rest and recuperate.
Remember, there is no need to white-knuckle through the holidays. You deserve to receive the wholeness of the Christmas season and walk into the New Year at ease. We hope to fully enjoy the celebrations we partake in and the people around us by first taking care of our mental health.