The Subscription That Keeps Me Zen During The Holidays
When it comes to prepping for the holidays, some may say that I have a tendency to go overboard. From putting out themed salt and pepper shakers, to creating separate spreadsheets for holiday cards and gifts, to throwing small apartment parties, the holidays are like my own little Olympics… except I’m competing against myself and whatever it was I did the year before. I even have storage boxes (all of which are filled to the brim with decor and knick-knacks) labeled “Halloween,” “Thanksgiving,” and “Christmas.” One year, I turned my bedroom door into a makeshift wrapping station!
But, even though I do enjoy every single moment of planning (and partying!), the holiday season isn’t all fun and games. In fact, it can get pretty stressful. I was spending way too much money on gifts (over-buying, but I can’t help it!), accidentally double-booking myself, and running out of creative ideas. Up until last year, I didn’t really know how to handle it all – I needed a calendar or something that was more all-encompassing than the string of spreadsheets sitting in my Google Drive. Enter: Silk + Sonder.
The Subscription: Silk + Sonder
Silk + Sonder is a monthly self-care journal subscription that’s backed by a community of individuals who have one mission: to live their best life as happily and as positively as possible. Each journal is absolutely beautiful and features a specific theme. This year, January’s theme was “ambition.”
Each journal also includes theme-focused pages, recipe pages, and a month’s worth of planning pages (which are filled with to-do lists, meal plans, mind and body plans, calendar dates, etc.). These theme-specific pages really helped me out during the holidays.
Last December my S+S journal included the following pages:
- Editor’s note: Every S+S journal begins with a note or letter from the editor (AKA the founder of Silk + Sonder, Meha Agrawal). This letter focuses on the theme for the month; December’s theme was “generosity.” Here’s an excerpt from December’s letter:
“While generosity feels naturally fitting for the month of December—in all its holiday gift and card exchanging, we intentionally chose to focus on it this month to encourage you to push the boundaries even further. How can you be generous with time—the time you spend alone, the time you spend with loved ones, the time you take to listen or help a stranger? How can you be generous in practicing empathy—by viewing someone’s perspective even if it’s contrary to your own? How can you be generous with your words—eliminating the negative self-talk and using kinder words with yourself?”
- Instruction sheet: The instruction sheet gives new S+S members ideas on how to use their journals. However, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to use an S+S journal.
- November reflections: Each S+S journal features a reflections sheet for the month before. On this page, the journal encourages you to think about last month’s wins, hiccups, favorite moments, hard moments, and the things you’d like to start, stop, and continue doing in the coming month.
- December intentions: On the following page, the journal asks you to set intentions for the new month. However, these intentions are not meant to function as a to-do list. Instead, S+S intentions are about “asking something of yourself, and then giving yourself the strength to do it.”
- Mood tracker: The mood tracker is probably one of my favorite pages in the S+S journals. I don’t know if that’s because I like coloring it in or I like to see how my mood changed over the course of the month. The mood tracker has six spaces for you to write in your moods. I typically write “love,” “happy,” “angry,” “tired,” “stressed,” and “sad,” but you can write whatever you’d like in those spaces. Then, you can choose a color for each mood and fill out the wheel as each day passes.
- Month habit tracker: Similar to the mood tracker, the habit tracker asks you to fill in seven habits or activities you’d like to do throughout the month. You then fill in a bubble for each time you did the activity or habit. I usually put “walk the dog,” “squats,” “reading,” “gym,” “guitar,” “journaling,” and “DYE,” which is an acronym for a magazine I founded.
- Sleep tracker: I don’t really use the sleep tracker, but that’s probably because I know my sleeping schedule is way out of whack.
- Generosity log: December’s generosity log asks you to “describe one way you showed generosity” each day. There are 31 lines for each day of the month.
- My affirmations: December’s affirmations page features Christmas ornaments and asks you to write in your own affirmations. “Being generous and kind with yourself also counts. Write down affirmations that speak most to you.”
- Acts of kindness bingo: The acts of kindness bingo board has 20 “spaces” that each have an act of kindness written inside. “Smiled at five people you don’t know,” is an example. Each time you complete an act of kindness, you can put a sticker on the space or color it in.
- Journaling prompts: Journaling prompts change with each month. December’s included the following:
- What does generosity mean to you?
- When was the last time someone was extra gracious or generous with you? How did it make you feel?
- When was the last time you were extra gratuitous or generous with someone else? How did they react? How did it make you feel?
- How do you practice generosity in your daily life? How can you cultivate more of it?
- List five ways you can show more generosity towards yourself and your loved ones.
- List five ways you can practice being more generous with strangers and acquaintances.
- Holiday planning: The holiday planning page has a three-column table with the words “name,” “gift,” and “address.” It also has a gift ideas area (it’s in the shape of a name tag) and a wish list.
- Coloring page: The coloring page is different each month. December’s was a hamsa hand.
- Recipes: December’s recipes included a Creamy Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Soup and Baked Feta.
- Monthly expense tracker: Each S+S journal has an expense tracker. Here you can write the date, description, category, and amount of your purchases and/or bills for the month. Seeing it out in front of you may help you curve your spending. (It definitely helps me!)
Being a Part of the S+S Community
The community, which initially started on Facebook, has really taken off since I first joined in November 2020. S+S now has its own app that features journaling prompts, notes, bingo, daily affirmations, daily rituals, and more. You can even upload photos of your own mood tracker, reflections pages, etc., participate in “challenges,” and chat with other S+S members. When I’m in need of a little inspiration, I scroll through other users’ page photos to see what they’re up to and what stickers and colors (pens, markers, pencils) they’re using. I’ve got quite the collection, as you can see in the photo below.
In addition to discovering new ways to use my journal, the S+S community is super supportive. I can type whatever I’m feeling in the updates section and (within minutes) receive hundreds of comments of encouragement and/or advice depending on what I wrote. This is particularly helpful during the holiday season when I’m feeling overwhelmed, looking for new recipe ideas, or need a second opinion from someone who’s impartial and not a close friend or family member.
Why Silk + Sonder Is a Game-Changer
Unlike my beloved spreadsheets, Silk + Sonder forces me to think about the now. It helps me reflect on my days and the actions I take—this is especially important during the holiday season when it’s so much easier to focus on everyone and everything else, excluding myself. With S+S I can prepare, plan, and relax simultaneously. Plus, with the gifting guide and expense tracker, I can keep my holiday spending to a minimum.
Ready to sign up for Silk + Sonder?
The Cost: $20 per month
COUPON: Use code COUNTMEIN10 to save 10% off your sub box.
Ships to: The US
Looking for more subscriptions to help you out this holiday season? Check out these articles: