I've been living a slow November and it has been the healthiest thing I have ever done for myself. It has felt transformational. I call it, no-social-November.
No plans, no activities, no socializing. My focus has been on routine, simplicity, and listening to myself. What has come of it is the ability to get into balance with my needs and my life. As a result, I've felt like I have more space to be inspired to create, produce, and understand what works for me to thrive. I've felt at peace in non-multitasking and being slow at everything I do. Well, slow compared to today's standards but perhaps just normal in centuries past. I've had to remind myself even going from upstairs to downstairs in my home, not to run and rush. Take the stairs slowly - or rather at a normal pace instead of frantic because I have to get to XYZ.
This slow November allowed for noticing when I am out of balance, where noise and busy-ness usually takes away from that awareness. If you are and introvert like me and are feeling out of alignment or already overwhelmed before the holidays even start, I recommend a 2 week socializing detox before December. That includes social media for scrolling purposes! Get in, look at what you went in there to look at, and get out. I still have two weeks to go in my no-social-November and I already know I will be doing this again next year. For me, it's as important as a doctor's order.
I canceled plans, I said no to a lot of really great things (even free tickets to an NHL game or plans with friends!), and I've been declining offers all month long. It's been worth it because I've been able to have space to thrive in routine without interruption - in which I would have had to spend time trying to "get back on track". I can only say that consistency is key. I have seen those instances as opportunities to say no, or little tests to keep me on my intention.
Removing anything that would have kept me busy has also been like holding a mirror up to myself every day. I've had no excuse but to confront and acknowledge things that were bogging me down, both externally and internally, physically and emotionally.
And in a way, I'm excited for December 1st! I'm treating it as a fun day to get out there and celebrate Christmas socially and externally. Filled with visiting local bakeries for holiday treats, getting a hot cocoa at the coffee shop, going to see Christmas displays and more.
If you crave some quiet or slow in your life, I encourage you to make space for it in your own way. Maybe that's just one hour a day dedicated to yourself and not socializing. Maybe that's one whole day a month where you don't socialize and do a digital detox for 24 hours. Or perhaps you will plan your own no-social-November next year or join me for these last two weeks this year. Either way, it's worth exploring and trying out to see what works for you. And then do it again. :)
Happy Slow November