Ending a busy year with an even busier holiday period can make it hard for professionals to mindfully wind down after a busy year and take time out to relax – but it’s so important to do so, to avoid the dreaded burn-out that we all experience from time to time.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention and being aware of the present moment without letting the mind wander and worry about the past or future. Prioritising your health – both mental and physical – by taking some time out at the end of the year will set you up to enter the new year feeling rejuvenated and ready to hit the ground running, both professionally and personally.
Tip 1: Enjoy the treats
Drink the champagne, eat the ham with all the trimmings and finish with a plate of pavlova – but don’t go overboard. Being mindful about what you’re consuming means finding a balance between not restricting yourself and not mindlessly eating everything in sight. This can be very hard when there is food offered to you constantly and everyone around you is eating, but make an active effort to eat only when hungry and stop when you’re full. Remember to take time to genuinely appreciate the delicious food you’re consuming.
Tip 2: Disconnect to reconnect
We live in a digital age where we are constantly ‘plugged-in’ and contactable at any moment of the day whether that’s by text, email, or the multitude of social platforms we’re signed up to. Disconnecting can be tough, especially for professionals who aren’t able to completely switch off. If you’re able to, log out of all work email accounts or remove them from your phone.
Take the opportunity to disconnect from the online world and reconnect with the friends and family that you don’t get to spend quality time with throughout the year. Try leaving your phone in a different room or switching it to flight-mode – it’s important and refreshing to fully engage in face-to-face interactions without the distraction of incoming notifications.
Tip 3: Maintain some normality and practise self-care
The Christmas period is notorious for throwing routine out the window and leaving us wondering what day it is. Maintaining some normality across this time will make it easier to get back into your routine come new year. Simple things like waking up at the same time each day, heading to the gym, preparing nutritious meals, yoga and meditation or cleaning the house will help keep you grounded and present.
Do what makes you happy and find time for self-care routines that help you relax and unwind. Finding a happy medium between relaxation and routine is key.
Tip 4: Stay active
Keeping active during the silly season can make such a difference to your overall mood and energy levels. Even something as simple as going for a walk will boost your mood and clear your mind. Taking the time to venture on that hike you’ve been wanting to do all year or attending a new workout class you’ve heard good things about will not only be fun and adventurous, but a great way to remain active and reap the well-known mental and physical benefits of exercise.
Tip 5: Reflect and prepare for the year ahead
New Year resolutions are popular for a reason – the culmination of one chapter and the beginning of another forces us to take a look at ourselves and what we’ve achieved. While mindfulness is about remaining present, we all require some self-reflection and awareness from time to time. By taking the time to identify things in our lives that are weighing us down and making us unhappy like bad habits, negative internal dialogue and toxic relationships – we are in a better headspace to get rid of these things that are no longer adding to our lives, making room for positive things that lift us up.