It's December and I can feel the shift.
There's tangible things, like the massive spike in shopping and retail sales, and the estimated 30% increase in rubbish that we create over the summer holidays.
And then there's the visceral change - the shift in mood, the slightly frenzied feeling, the sheer pressure to get sh!t done.
December has so much going for it, but somehow it seems to have become this crazed month of consumption and overwhelm.
It's not great for our own wellbeing or the wellbeing of the planet.
I'm not some zen being that floats through December to the sounds of gently tinkling bells - it's definitely still a month that goes up a notch. But over the coming weeks I'm going to hit you with a few things that have made December a little bit easier for me and a little bit lighter for the planet.
December hack #1
So much of our life is on autopilot - December is no different. We end up doing things because we always have, feel we should, or we get caught up in the hype of everyone else doing it.
We buy gifts out of expectation, we spend hours (and too much money) at the shopping mall and we're constantly popping to the supermarket to 'grab a few things'.
The game changer for me has been to stop and pause.
To take a breath and ask myself what's important and to constantly challenge what can be simplified.
- Maybe the list of gifts doesn't have to be quite so long
- Do we really need an 8 course Christmas day meal plan?
- Instead of the constant 'bring a plate' engagements, do we just catch up for a cuppa?
- Does the tree have to have new decorations?
- Do I really need a complete new outfit for Christmas day?
Now is the time I have the conversations, I connect with my circle and agree on a few things we can do differently, a few things we can slow down.
I get it can feel a bit awkward, but pretty much everyone I know is keen to simplify and make things easier at this time of year.
It's not about going without, it's about reconnecting with what's important and not getting swept up in the frenzy of expectation.