In the excitement leading up to the highly-anticipated season of giving, we are pausing now to focus on how to nurture healthier connections and conversations with ourselves and others this holiday season. 

The holidays can be a time of high stress and busyness. But what if that’s not what you really want? What if you want something more intentional and laidback?

Today, we’re sharing what we’ve been reading, watching, listening, and learning to help you decipher what it is you need and the type of interactions you genuinely want to have over peppermint hot cocoa.

Reading

This month, we found ourselves plugged into “The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less” by Christine Platt. Gift-giving, seasonal wardrobe needs, never-ending shopping lists — there are a million and one reasons to feel pressured into acquiring more.

With actionable advice as told by a practicing minimalist, this book serves as a guide to decluttering your life, identifying what you truly need by reconciling with your childhood expectations and attachments first. Buy here.

Watching

Oftentimes, the first thing to go during the hustle and bustle of jovial travels and gleeful gatherings is the consideration for yourself and your capacity. We’ve been watching Elyssa Nalani’s “7 Ways to Practice Self Care During the Holidays” to stay focused on the task at hand; the task being self-attunement and healthy boundary-setting. Watch here.

Listening

We’re listening intently to the guidance within ahead of the year’s busiest quarter. Tuning into The Slowdown with Ada Limón makes that process more of a forgiving one. It’s not often that we are encouraged to accept the complexities of human nature, but this podcast lends the space to welcome mindset shifts with hand-selected poems carefully delivered by some of the world’s most enchanting poets. We recommend pausing before the holidays to sit with Episode 524: “Today, When I Could Do Nothing,” written by Jane Hirshfield. Listen here.

Learning

Depending on how well others read the room, gathering around the formal dining table can be a time of intrusive questions and awkward life updates. The Actually Curious card game can make catching up with loved ones from all backgrounds an empathetic process. Learn about each other and how to navigate sensitive topics without defenses, and effectively, bringing you closer. Explore here

Heading into arguably the most wonderful time of year, let us know how you plan to take care of yourself and others.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Fuller