Christmas Mental Health and Wellbeing

5 Ways To Relax and Enjoy Downtime During The Festive Season

AD | This is a collaborative post but all opinions are honest and my own.

I hardly need to say that Christmas can be a busy and hectic time of year. If you have Christmas parties to organise or attend, family visits to plan, shopping to do and children to entertain, it can all get quite overwhelming! On the whole, Christmas activities and festive celebrations are great fun, but it’s important to get some downtime too so that we don’t get too overwhelmed and burn out from all the excitement.

Downtime doesn’t have to mean completely escaping from that festive feeling. In this post, I am going to share 5 relaxing yet festive activities that are perfect for helping you relax and get some much-needed downtime during this season. I hope this post will show that it’s possible to enjoy Christmas in a calm and quiet way when you are by yourself so that you can get in the Christmas mood but still save up your energy for those parties!

A Christmas wreath featuring foliage, berries and pine cones, hanging by a red ribbon on the knocker of a blue front door.
Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

5 Ways To Relax and Enjoy Downtime During The Festive Season

1. Go for a walk and admire the winter scenery

Winter is such a beautiful season, especially if you are lucky (or some may say unlucky) enough to have snow. If you need an escape from the hustle and bustle, take yourself for a solo walk and admire the pretty scenery and snowy landscapes. Even if you have no snow it’s still fun to walk around and look at the Christmas lights and decorations that people have put up. Remember to take these 12 essential items with you to stay safe and warm on your winter walk.

2. Listen to traditional Christmas carols

I was brought up on traditional Christmas carols, so to me, they capture the essence of Christmas more than the famous Christmas pop songs. Spend a quiet moment at home creating a Christmas atmosphere by lighting a candle or sitting by the Christmas tree, making a hot drink and putting on some traditional carols. Classic FM usually plays them at this time of year or you can search for a playlist on Spotify or your streaming service of choice. Traditional carols are relaxing and will get you in a festive mood without getting you overexcited.

3. Play online games

I love to indulge in a bit of gaming around Christmas time, and traditional card games are some of my favourites. I think there’s something really cosy and relaxing playing a game of cards. It’s the perfect activity for enjoying some downtime in the festive season. A great place to start is solitaire.org – on here you can find the classic card game of solitaire which I’ve been a little addicted to over the past few weeks. If you haven’t played solitaire before, it’s really easy to learn, and I warn you, once you start playing it’s really hard to stop!

A game of Solitaire in progress.

If card games are not your thing, one of my other favourite games on solitaire.org is Mahjong solitaire. In this game, you have to remove matching pairs of tiles from the board, gradually freeing up more tiles, until they are all gone. This is another game that is surprisingly addictive and you will be determined to keep playing until you win!

A game of Mahjong Solitaire.

4. Do a jigsaw puzzle

Doing a jigsaw puzzle is another really relaxing activity that I think has Christmas vibes all over it. Every year, my dad and I traditionally work on a jigsaw puzzle together over the Christmas season. Sometimes, we do a jigsaw each (with an equal number of pieces) and have a race to see who can finish theirs first! Whether you choose to do a jigsaw puzzle alone or with family, it’s a really calming activity that will take your mind off the chaos of Christmas time.

5. Do some Christmas crafts

Crafting is a great downtime activity that many people find relaxing. There are so many Christmas craft tutorials online or on Pinterest at this time of year, including some that are simple enough for anyone to make, whether or not you consider yourself a crafty person. Last year I made some folded paper stars to hang on the Christmas tree and I am planning to make some more this year.

A flatlay of Christmas crafting materials - scissors, paper, glue, decorative stars in progress.
Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

How do you relax and enjoy downtime at Christmas time?

I would love to hear your favourite ways to relax and unwind during the festive season. Do let me know in the comments below! Have you done any of the activities on this list this year? I hope I have given you some new ideas that will help you to have a more relaxed Christmas season.

To end this post, I wish you a very merry (and relaxed) Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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5 Ways To Relax and Enjoy Downtime In The Festive Season

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