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A Journey to a Wellness Christmas: Self-Care Advent Calendar | maison ito

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

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It’s that time of the year again: temperatures have dropped, fireplaces are lit and we are all looking forward to spending time with our families. Christmas is around the corner and the festive spirit is filling the air — even though this year we might all experience a slightly different Christmas with a newcomer at the table (welcome to our lives, Zoom!).

This year, more than ever before, there is a greater appetite for wellness. The need of being mindful of our own needs and having healthy rituals that make us feel better, and that keeps both our body and mind energised, are becoming a priority.

At Maison Ito, we love advent calendars and we believe the Christmas countdown is the perfect opportunity to commit ourselves to improve our well-being. With that in mind, we’ve created a self-care advent calendar you can follow to achieve your personal wellness goals. The countdown to a wellness Christmas starts… now!

Dec. 1 The unplugged challenge: have a phone-free night!

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Start the month taking a break from screens. Plan your evening ahead and bring yourself to do something that doesn’t require the use of smartphones, tablets or computers. Turning the TV on is also forbidden: all gadgets must be out of the picture!

Dec. 2 Catch up with friends and make the experience fun and unique

Make the most out of the time you spend with your friends. A unique, fun, and healthy way to maintain strong friendships is to do something more than a simple meet-up. Next time you catch up with friends, propose a different plan: become tourists in your own city, cook a new and complex meal together or create a ‘New Things’ list in which you include plans you’d like to try or do together in the future — laughs are guaranteed!

Dec. 3 Savour soothing scents, savour moments of tranquility

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Indulge yourself in a day of total luxury and pampering with aromatherapy. You can put a few drops of your favourite essential oils in a diffuser or plan an aromatic bath. You can make it a bit more festive by picking some Christmas scents such as pine, orange, cypress, or cinnamon.

Dec. 4 Test your creativity: do something creative you’ve never done before

Find some time today to do something creative you think you might enjoy! Maybe take some shots with that new camera you recently bought? Perhaps creative writing to express yourself? You can also get your children involved and make this a family moment to create DIY Christmas ornaments to decorate the house! Nothing you create needs to be perfect: just to it for the sake of having fun!

Dec. 5 Plan your meals for the week so you eat healthier and spend less

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Plan your meals for the week ahead so you eat healthier. For that, take into account the hara hachi bu, the Japanese rule that dictates that you should stop eating when you are 80% full. Whole foods, seasonal ingredients, and low-sugar desserts are fantastic choices. You can also try new healthy recipes. Have you ever tried Japanese ramen, Vietnamese bo bun, or Peruvian ceviche? We might not be able to travel, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy world cuisines!

Dec. 6 Clean up your bedroom or living area, but keep it green!

We firmly believe tidying up your room or living area can also tidy up your mind. If on top of that you opt for green products such as some soap, baking soda, or a bit of vinegar, you’ll have a chemical-free space to relax and rest later in the day.

Dec. 7 Discover, explore and enjoy Japanese sadō/chadō

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If you’re a tea lover, then you should definitely learn more about sadō/chadō. A traditional Japanese tea ceremony, this ritual is more than sipping some tea: it’s an experience for both the host and the guest. A moment to focus on mindfulness, sadō/chadō requires becoming appreciative of things around you: art, nature, precious moments, people next to you… A definite must-try!

Visit your nearest tea shop and purchase Japanese sencha green tea, a premium quality tea that only used young organically grown leaves harvested in the spring.

Dec. 8 Learn more about the benefits of plants for your wellbeing and get one!

Besides bringing colour and life to any space, plants have numerous health benefits. Did you know there is a plant for each of us depending on our personality? Today is the perfect day to pick one that suits your needs! If you don’t have a Christmas tree yet, you might want to consider getting a pine this year: it can bring a pleasant scent and natural warm beauty to your house!

Dec. 9 Cook your kids’ favourite meal and get them involved in the preparation

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Ask your children to pick one of the healthy meals you planned for this week and get the whole family to take part in cooking it. Getting both little ones and grown-ups involved in the preparation is a great way to spend quality time together, learn as a team, and create memories.

Dec. 10 Make yourself laugh. It’s not a joke!

Laughing should be mandatory everyday in our lives. A great way to release endorphin, laughter can protect our heart and it promotes a sense of togetherness and safety. You can encourage laughing in your home by sharing funny stories, telling jokes, or watching a funny movie. A family that laughs together, stays together!

Dec. 11 Delegate and take some time off

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Christmas time is the perfect chance to take it a bit easier and slow things down a little bit. It’s time to spend more quality time with your family, meaning you can delegate some work, trust your team with some projects and take some time off. Today and for the rest of the month, limit the amount of time you work outside office hours, revising reports, or doing any other extra unfinished work.

Dec. 12 Let your mind wander: start planning a holiday or a getaway

There have not been many chances to travel in the last months, but something tells us 2021 might be different! There’s no reason why you can’t start planning a holiday or a getaway. Even if you can pick specific dates yet, you can start to do your research, learn more about the place you’d like to travel and choose the plans you’d like to do! Need some inspiration? Explore Maison Ito's selection of 8 health and wellness dream destinations after Covid-19.

Dec. 13 Reconnect with nature by spending some time outdoors

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Familiarise yourself with your surroundings by spending some time outside the house. Are you new to your neighborhood? Go out, get to know your vicinity, and reconnect with nature. Cold, fresh air will rejuvenate you and help you clear your mind.

Dec. 14 Learn to appreciate food more with Japanese shojin ryori

Originated in Japan in the 6th century, shojin ryori cuisine and philosophy is simple: appreciate food, cook using seasonal ingredients, and make sure to not waste anything. Make yourself aware of what you’re cooking and eating today and start to put this into practice by reading “Living Shojin Ryori: Everyday Zen Cuisine to Nourish and Delight” by chef Danny Chu.

Dec. 15 Go to bed early… and wake up earlier!

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Nights are longer and days are shorter this time of year. Getting the most out of daylight should be enough motivation to go to bed early and wake up when the sun rises in the morning. Studies reveal morning people are more productive and successful — there's a reason why Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 4 am and Michele Obama at 4:30 am respectively!

Dec. 16 Explore a soothing activity such as Ikebana, the so-called Zen floristry

The fact that nature can help us overcome life’s challenges doesn’t cease to amaze us. Take the time today to learn about Ikebana, an exquisite Japanese art form that pursues beauty, balance, and mindfulness. Make sure you do a quick search in Google, find the nearest place that offers Ikebana courses near you, and request some information!

Dec. 17 Fix a small annoyance in your home and clear it from your mind

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Don’t procrastinate any longer! Whether it’s changing those bulbs that haven’t been working for a while, filling in picture holes in the wall, or finding a solution to your clogged drain, today it’s the day when that small annoyance in your house is going to be fixed!

Dec. 18 Write down 5 things you’re grateful for

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Follow the advice of successful leaders and entrepreneurs such as Tim Ferriss, Oprah Winfrey, and Emma Watson and practice the power and pleasure of being grateful. Today is a good day to get into the habit of writing down a list of five things to be thankful for.

Dec. 19 Watch a motivational TED talk and get inspired

Inspiration promotes creativity and gives us tools to go beyond our limits. TED Talks are a fantastic tool to get some inspiration from world leaders, successful businessmen, and women, celebs, and experts in their fields. Our recommendation for today?

Dec. 20 Spend some time with yourself and enjoy it!

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The busier you are, the more this self-care tip applies to you. Ami Morin, a mental strength trainer and also a TED talk speaker, shares how spending more time with ourselves can help us increase empathy, spark creativity, and gives us some time to know ourselves better. Some of the things you can do during this time is step away from screens, read a book, listen to guided meditation, start your grateful journal, etc.

Dec. 21 Talk about successes or wins of all family members and celebrate them

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Make dinnertime a space where both adults and children can talk about the good aspects of their days and celebrate everyone’s wins and successes. The year is coming to an end, which also gives us the chance to talk about the goals we’d like to achieve in the next 12 months. Share that with a family member or a friend: they can not only listen but also help you get where you want!

Dec. 22 Take the first step towards adding something new to your skill set

There’s always something new to learn, and today you can finally take that first step towards learning a new skill. Have you been wanting to attend a cooking course or language lessons for a while now? Then sign up to those today!

Dec. 23 Add a new and fun workout to your daily exercising routine

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If you're finding your workouts a bit repetitive lately, then you can add a new exercise to your routine or add some fun to it. There are some ways in which you can get your family or children involved! For example, you can ask little ones to become your PT and time your laps or try a parent-and-kid workout!

Dec. 24 Read inspirational quotes that make you feel empowered and inspired

Reading inspirational quotes has always been a great source of motivation. You can read 100 quotes by important figures in history here. This list is filled with the thoughts of individuals such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Audrey Hepburn, or Dalai Lama.

Dec. 25 Movie night! Watch your favourite Christmas films

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There’s nothing else you can do today to practice some self-care than enjoy watching your favourite Christmas movies. An activity you can do on your own or enjoy with the whole family, make sure you treat yourself with a whole day of Christmas cosiness!

There’s no better way to finish your year than with an uplifting dose of self-care. The above self-care tips can pave the way to achieving greater wellness benefits in the long term. Putting them into practice means making small improvements in your wellbeing and getting into new habits that will help you achieve greater goals in the future.


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