The holiday season offers a great opportunity to recharge and set the stage for a successful new year. Implementing these simple, research-backed strategies will enhance your well-being, but also prepare you mentally and physically to make the most out of the coming year.
🔌Digital Detox – Disconnect to Reconnect
Research by the American Psychological Association suggests that constant connectivity can lead to stress and burnout. This holiday season try to unplug from emails and social media (even if it’s for a few hours every day) to recharge your mental batteries.
👨👩👧👦 Quality Family Time – Bonding Matters
A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that spending quality time with family positively impacts work-life balance. Take advantage of your time off to plan activities with family and friends that strengthen your connections and create lasting memories. For example, you can plan a family movie night with everyone’s favourite films, cook a special meal together, involving everyone in the preparation, and/or schedule a family game night with board games or card games.
🧘♀️ Meditation – Calm the Mind
According to a Harvard Business Review article, practicing mindfulness meditation enhances focus and reduces stress. Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. Techniques can vary, but in general, mindfulness meditation involves deep breathing and awareness of body and mind. Practicing mindfulness meditation doesn’t require props or preparation (no need for candles, essential oils, or mantras, unless you enjoy them). To get started, all you need is a comfortable place to sit, and three to five minutes of free time being fully focused on “the now” so you can acknowledge and accept your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
🏋️♂️ Exercise for Energy Boost – Sweat It Out
It’s a well-known fact that regular exercise boosts energy levels and improves mood. Use this holiday break to incorporate short workouts or outdoor activities to keep your physical and mental health in top shape. You can try a quick HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout at home, explore outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or jogging or even join a virtual fitness class for a fun and engaging workout. And why not get your friends and/or family to join you?
📚 Reading for Professional Growth – Fuel Your Brain
Research from the Pew Research Centre indicates that successful professionals often engage in regular reading. Choose books related to your field or personal development to gain new perspectives and insights. Some of our favourites? The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Rich Dad – Poor Dad, and How to Win Friends And Influence People.
🤝 Volunteer and Give Back – Feel-Good Boost
The holiday season provides many opportunities to make a positive impact in your community through volunteering. The Journal of Happiness Studies mentions that volunteering increases happiness and life satisfaction. So why not set some time aside to helping others and give yourself a sense of purpose and fulfilment. And as with most of our suggestions in this blog, you don’t have to do it alone. If you have children it’s a great opportunity to teach them that there is more to Christmas than presents.
🎨 Hobbies – Nurture Creativity
The Journal of Positive Psychology reveals that engaging in creative activities reduces stress and enhances overall well-being. Use this time to explore a new hobby or revive an old one to stimulate your creative side. You can start a DIY project, such as crafting, painting, or woodworking. Learn to play a musical instrument, or experiment with cooking or baking new and creative recipes. The sky is the limit!
😴 Quality Sleep for Peak Performance – Prioritize Rest
The National Sleep Foundation emphasizes the importance of quality sleep for cognitive function. From creating a bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down, to investing in comfortable bedding and a supportive mattress, make sure you get enough rest during the holidays to start the new year with renewed energy and focus.
📈 Reflection and Goal Setting – Strategic Planning for the New Year
Setting specific goals increases the likelihood of success. With the new year fast approaching, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on your achievements and challenges from the past year, then set clear and attainable goals for the upcoming year. You might find some of the tips we share in our blog Habits of highly effective people, part 1: Begin with the End in Mind, helpful in how to best achieve this.
🙏 Gratitude Practice for a Positive Outlook – Count Your Blessings
Psychology Today reports that practicing gratitude enhances mental health and resilience. Take time each day to acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects of your life. You could keep a gratitude journal, noting three things you’re grateful for each day, express appreciation to colleagues, friends, and family, or take a moment each morning to reflect on the positive aspects of your life.
So why not make this holiday season the start of a new and improved you? Remember, when we talk about well-being, be it mental or physical, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Tailor these suggestions and activities to your preferences, lifestyle and needs, ensuring they align with your personal and professional goals.