It’s easy to become overwhelmed at this time of year. So if you’re looking to escape the consumerism, here’s five free feelgood things to do this Christmas.
Go for a snow walk
At the fist sign of snow, grab your boots or wellies and get out into the fresh air. Give yourself a break from the general rushing. Use this opportunity to catch up with friends that doesn’t involve feeling like you have to host. The natural light will boost your energy levels. This will get you into the right frame of mind for a mentally healthier New Year. The National Trust have a wonderful list of their perfect Winter Walks you try. However, even a walk around a local park will do you the world of good.
Attend a Carol Service
Being in a church setting normally has a calming effect on most people anyway. However singing is proven to be good for your body and soul. For the body, singing is an excellent way of training the breath so perfect for anyone with asthma or winter allergies. It’s also known to ease stress as you sing mindfully, reading the words and listening to the music and looking out for the intro. Singing in a choir though is known to lift your spirits further as their is a sense of belonging, even if it is a congregation of strangers. Whilst all joining in the same activity, you have an instant bond, even if its only short term.
Pleasant music releases the hormone Cortisol which is the feelgood hormone so you’re literally getting a legal high. Carol Services aren’t always held in churches. Even if you want to go along just for the singing and not for the religion, look out for carols in your local pub or on the village green.
Visit local museums, galleries and sculpture parks
Check out your local council website and other free museums and galleries where you can make the most of the peace and quiet. Take along a camera and practice your composition. If it has snowed, test out different settings on your camera to allow for the extra light. Brew up a flask of hot chocolate and bake some cookies then wrap in foil to keep them warm for a mid-wander break without the cost. Exposing yourself to art and beautiful things in general can really warm your heart and put modern day stresses into perspective. Find free museums at http://www.visitbritain.com.
Bake Christmas cookies and mine pies for your neighbours
Baking is such a satisfying past time. Taking bare ingredients and blending them together to make something entirely different is a type of alchemy. Looking out for your neighbours will also make you feel good as well as them. It doesn’t have to be someone you know who might be lonely or frail. Houses with young children might be so very grateful for some homemade Christmas treats to break up the day filled with nappy changes, feeding and not a lot else!
Also consider the homes with for sale signs outside. There can be so many reasons why a house needs to be sold, it isn’t always an exciting time for the homeowner, especially if there’s been a death or relationship break down. Visit without judgement and don’t impose yourself, just deliver your yummy goods with a smile or even leave on the front door step with a quick knock and watch them discover their gift from afar.
Visit your local Christmas lights
Do you have an elderly relative who doesn’t get to go out much? Offer to pick them up and drive around to see the local Christmas lights. Even if a drive through town doesn’t sound much fun, pick a few neighbouring villages and drive in and out of little cul-de-sacs. go hunting for affluent homes with wreaths and Christmas trees in their driveways on display. You could even make a game out of it and score them out of ten!
From garish colourful flashing lights and inflatable snowmen stood precariously on rooftops. To classy minimalist strings of white icicles adorning large bay windows. It’s a fascinating insight into other people’s taste. Exploring an area from the warmth and safety of inside your own car with some fun company will make you really feel good.