We know the holidays can be a stressful time. This is why we’ve created a guide to living your best and most healthful life despite the pressures of the season, with a French flair and an emphasis on enjoying life.
1. Be A “Flâneur” - A Stroller
“Flâneur'' translates into “loafer” or “stroller”, it was originally used by 19th century poet Charles Baudelaire to describe the habits of urban life. To be a flâneur is to actively go outside and enjoy the world around you, not with the exclusive goal of exercising for losing weight, but appreciating the outdoors and the world around you.
For most of us, winter means cold weather. It is sometimes difficult to go outside when you can see your breath, the cold is well, uninviting. However, “There is mounting evidence, from dozens and dozens of researchers, that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human well being,” says Lisa Nisbet, PhD, a psychologist at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, who studies connectedness to nature. “You can boost your mood just by walking in nature, even in urban nature. And the sense of connection you have with the natural world seems to contribute to happiness even when you’re not physically immersed in nature.” Taking even a 20 minute stroll outside will boost your mood and allow you to be calm as you enter stressful holiday situations, so go ahead, embrace the flâneur life.
2. Self Care
Just as the French value pleasure in eating and food, they value pleasure and comfort in their self-care routines. Nothing will make you feel more French than taking a scented bubble bath while enjoying a glass of wine! Whatever your version of self-care is, make an effort to practice it when you feel most stressed. From face masks to a cozy cup of tea, these little habits can make a big difference. Facial Yoga is one of our favorite ways to relax and reconnect with our bodies, plus there are amazing health benefits. Reminding yourself to be present and enjoy life is a major benefit of self care rituals and it can set the tone for your mood. Remember, you can’t enjoy the holidays if you aren't taking care of yourself.
3. Disconnect from your Phone Every day
Even just one hour away from your phone can drastically improve your mood. Studies show that reducing your screen time improves your present-moment awareness, improves your quality of sleep, & allows for deeper social connections with others. So many social media apps were developed for the purpose of connecting us with others, the irony is we often forget to connect with those physically near us. When things get stressful during the holidays, it might seem easier to open your phone for a distraction. Challenge yourself to not use your phone as a distraction, you might be pleasantly surprised with the results.
4. Journal Every Night
Journaling has amazing benefits, from self reflection to goal setting. As we enter the new year, begin this amazing habit of journaling and remind yourself of the things that made you happy, sad, frustrated each day. With each entry you will be more in tune with your emotions and learn how best to respond to tough situations, not just in the holidays. Journaling allows you to pause and find joy in the stillness of the moment, which is a cornerstone of French life. Adopting this appreciation for your life and your world can be one of the best French habits you can pick up.
5. Practice a little Joie De Vivre - “Joy of living”
This might sound like a silly tip, but practicing the “joy of living” is one of the most fundamental components of French life. We all sometimes forget that the holidays are supposed to be fun and filled with laughter and love from friends & family. The French understand the concept of savoring each moment, and not overlooking the beautiful & simple pleasures in life. Between planning meals, buying gifts, and decorating, the true purpose of the holidays can get lost. Let yourself watch your favorite holiday movie, and bake those cookies that might have an unexpected amount of butter in them. Let yourself enjoy this time of year, and don’t get bogged down from superficial things.
6. Cook Healthful and Yummy Dinners
The holidays are for having fun and enjoying yummy treats, but if you are someone that doesn't feel mentally well when consuming many sugary snacks, find some delicious dessert recipes that are healthful as well. Additionally, take time to stop and enjoy each meal, and each bite. You can’t do that if your attention is elsewhere. Creating a relaxing ambiance for your meals and carving out time in your day to enjoy your food can help you feel just a little bit closer to life in France.
We hope you enjoyed this list, and we hope you have an amazing holiday season. Use these tips whenever you feel overwhelmed, we promise they will make you feel more relaxed and present.