Strategies to effectively decompress from a long and stressful year
- Review your goals and revisit your dreams by creating a bucket list for all the things you want to accomplish in life. This will provide a skeletal framework of the new year and give you an idea of how you will be utilizing your time, energy and resources. It gives you something to think about over the holidays, map out a strategy without necessarily putting yourself under pressure.
- Have some me time rituals where you get in touch with yourself, it could be writing in your journal or reading previous entries, looking though old pictures or going through all the beautiful memories that filled you up with joy throughout the year. This will remind you about what matters in your life and fill your heart with gratitude. It will also remind you that all the hard work you’ve put in has not been in vain and that it really is not as bad as it may seem.
- Use your time, money, voice and effort to make a difference in your community. Put together a package to give away to someone in need. Do something meaningful like volunteer your time and energy at a shelter or old age home. This is a sure way of getting personal fulfillment and finding meaning in life while helping someone else who is less fortunate than yourself.
- Pamper yourself, soak in a hot bath, take it easy, take long naps. Say no more often and ask for help. This will take the pressure off you and help you reset, rejuvenate and recharge.
- Do what you like to do. Read your favorite book, play your favorite CD, watch your favorite DVD. After a long stressful year this gives you the freedom to be in control of your own time.
- De-clutter your closet, clean your place or rearrange your furniture. This will refresh your outlook and give you a feeling of starting anew.
- Stay active. The last thing you want is slouching on the couch feeling sorry for yourself. That may eventually lead to depressing thoughts. Do some exercises or take a walk. Do an outdoor activity e.g. plant a tree or vegetable garden. Get creative indoors! Do a puzzle, crossword, draw or color in. This will keep you upbeat and feeling good about yourself.
- Have some fun! Find out what local places you can visit like a museum, ice-skating rink, go boating, sightseeing, bird watching etc. Spice up your life and laugh more! This is relaxing and will help you unwind. Spend time with loved ones, cook together, dance together, watch TV together, bond and rekindle your relationships.
- Learn something new, adopt new skills, develop yourself and hone your natural talents! Learn a new language, sew, paint, sing or play an instrument. This will not only serve as an ego boost but will remind you of how capable you are if you commit to something. Not to mention that it will add to your achievements for the year!
- Network, be open minded, make new friends, expand your world. Find new good habits, join a running club, volunteer in the neighborhood watch, do what scares you, change routines, who knows, come January you could be a whole new person!
The importance of going off the digital grid to the recuperation process
The digital grid or social media as we know it tends to be distractive. Hence taking a break may save you lots of time and energy to focus on other things that matter. Like reviewing your goals, updating your CV, reading books, checking finances for savings and expenses and researching ways to make more money.
Secondly social media can be depressing. When one feels inadequate about themselves or unhappy about their own life and lack of achievements, it can be devastating to come across people flaunting their achievements for the year, getting married, buying houses or cars etc. It can further aggregate the feelings of insufficiency, unhappiness, stress and unworthiness. It is certainly difficult for one to recuperate and be at one with their mind while they have to deal with other people’s emotions and triggering daily updates of their lives.
Thirdly not everything we see on the digital grid is as it seems. Some of it is misrepresented or exaggerated. One finds that their emotions are stirred not by reality but by perceived ideas of success which are not true. So, one ends up judging themselves unfairly. The further away one can move from social media, the closer to reality one will get.
How to stick to your New Year’s resolutions
- Use vision boards, where you cut pictures and paste them where you can see them morning and evening. Or simply paste reminders of to do lists by your bed or desk. This will help you keep tabs on what you need to do by when.
- Speak to people you respect and trust and ask them to check up on you say every month and see how you are doing with your tasks. These are going to be your accountability partners.
- Hang around wise and positive people and see how they do what they do. Try and feed off their energy and find out how they handle pressure, stress, distractions etc. Have mentors or role models and emulate them.
- Read positive books and watch inspirational DVDs, feed your mind goodness.
- Evaluate your life and remove things that steal your time and energy or meaningless things or toxic friendships and social media accounts.
- Don’t try to do many things at once or bite off too much, do one small thing at a time and achieve things bit by bit. This will preserve your time and energy.
- Reward yourself for every little thing you do. That will motivate you.
- Get to know yourself very well and do things that align with your likes and wants. Don’t do things out of hype or people others are doing it. Do things because you want to do them. That way you will stick through it for the long run.