31 ideas to inspire a joyful Christmas break

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This week I’m making plans to wind down for an extended 3 week Christmas and family break, after what has been a hard, but incredibly enjoyable and fruitful years work!

It’s probably worth clarifying that I truly love my work and I am actually going to have to exercise lots of self discipline to NOT work this holiday.

I find it pure joy to beaver away creating, connecting, organising, learning and sharing about how we can all be, and benefit from being, more intentional about our journey to whole person health and wellbeing, and inspiring healthy communities through the local church and now online too!

But as we reach the end of this year, I reflect back on the fact that there will always be more work to do than I can get done, and as the saying goes, ‘working all day with no play makes jack a dull boy’.

Over this past year I’ve really learned the benefit of rest.

I’ve learned that pushing through when I’m tired is rarely fruitful or beneficial to anyone, despite the cultural expectation that working all hours God sends is somehow a noble pursuit or deserves a badge of honour.

I’ve learned that working ‘on empty’ is certainly not conducive for my physical, emotional or spiritual health and wellbeing.

Not resting enough not only compromises the quality or quantity of the work I do, but those closest too me end up having to put up with a less than gracious and impatient version of me.

Importantly, not resting enough also paves the way for…. burnout.

So this year, I’ve been intentional about avoiding burnout and instead learning to accept that I am never going to achieve perfection or cross off everything on my to do list.

As long as I know I’ve tried my very best, good enough is often good enough.

So this Christmas break, I’m going to be intentional about resting and being restored.

Practically that looks like me resisting the temptation to answer emails or check to do lists, probably by intentionally deleting the apps on my phone! Instead I plan to simply celebrate the real reason for this Christmas season with my loving family and friends, and also take a little me time to be creative in ways I rarely make time to.

This also means I have an intentional plan for these blog posts over the next 3 Mondays…

I have asked Gareth to write another guest post after his previous ‘hills’ post went down so well, which will be scheduled for next Monday - so look out for that!

I won’t be writing a blog on Christmas Day for boxing day, so we can all make the most of a Christmas blog break there!

And then for the 1st post of January I thought I'd invite you guys to suggest or request topics or questions for future 2017 blog posts and webinars!

I hope by then you might have also had some personal restoration or reflection times, or been thinking about new year resolutions, goals and plans that we can all share in.

Christmas can be a time of Stress and strain as there are so many temptations, expectations and arrangements to make! I'm going to make sure I give myself permission to enjoy a few treats, and also be intentional about saying no occasionally too. 

I can’t talk about having a great Christmas break without acknowledging that Christmas can be a tough, stressed or lonely time for some. Big hugs especially for you.

So to close, I’ve listed 31 random ideas to inspire you to make the most out of your time to be restored over this Christmas break ….

  1. Spend quality time with the family
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Play a board game or do a jigsaw puzzle
  4. Call or visit a lonely relative
  5. Attend a Christmas church service
  6. Stop, take a breath, pray
  7. Fall asleep in front of the TV!
  8. Visit a neighbour
  9. Read back over a journal (or start one if you haven’t done one before)
  10. Volunteer with an organisation helping others less fortunate
  11. Clear out a wardrobe
  12. Visit somewhere new
  13. Learn the words to Auld Lang Syne before new year
  14. Think about 3 goals for 2017
  15. Make a daily list of things you are thankful for
  16. Do something to bless someone else in secret
  17. Do something creative
  18. Visit somewhere new
  19. Have an hour of ‘me’ time
  20. Read a book
  21. Plan ahead - be intentional with arrangements
  22. Go with the flow - don’t let disappointments rob you of your joy
  23. Ask for help
  24. Don’t compare
  25. Have a mince pie free day
  26. Stick to a budget
  27. Dance
  28. Have an alcohol free day
  29. Laugh
  30. Cry
  31. Share a blog topic idea for Intentional Health ;-)

It might be helpful to remember that just like my work, trying to achieve perfection - especially over the Christmas break, is probably unachievable! So why not join me in making your focus more about making memories and having a healthy, happy, generous, fun and joyful time this year.

As usual, please feel free to get in touch and let me know how you get on at any time - your feedback is always a huge encouragement! But please also remember that you will get an out of office reply after Friday so we’ll catch up in the new year!

Have a very blessed Christmas.


If you are thinking about making some New Year resolutions, then why not download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below to help get you started on your journey to living a healthier, happier life..

And as always, if you found this post helpful, please share it!

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