Switch off this Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect excuse to press the pause button on work and make time for the people who matter and for personal pursuits. It’s time to refocus, reflect and make resolutions to make work and life better next year.

Plus, switching off is good for your health! Taking a break from your laptop, forgetting about your inbox and concentrating on the people and things around you that matter the most is good for your brain (you’ll sleep better) and great for your relationships.

There are a few things you can do to help you switch off this holiday season:

Automate

Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you let work pile up or gather dust. You can set things on the right schedule to carry on just as if you were there:

  • Schedule blog posts: Automate your blog articles and posts for social media.
  • Fix up your auto responders: Compose your automatic email replies so people who try to get in touch with you through email will know why you aren’t answering back. You can also direct them to links that they need or where they can find the information they want.
  • Activate your online payment channels: Paying for your bills? There’s no need to line up in person at the bank if you activate your online payment portals to settle credit cards, life insurance payments, etc.

Catch Up on Old and New Hobbies

The gift of time is what the holidays bring, and this is the perfect opportunity for some catching up on simple pursuits:

  • Read (and finish) a book: Last month The Guardian released their awesome annual list of author-recommended reads for the year. Some great finds and offbeat recommendations here.
  • Listen to a Podcast: Podcasts are like a return to the days of radio shows. Great for road trips or long plane or train rides, it’s like having a bedtime story read to you! This American Life  is a fantastic podcast series that blends storytelling and documentary. Their new spin-off called Serial was recently released to rave reviews – it’s a true life crime series and is very addictive.

Build Good Habits for the New Year

There’s time to laze around but there’s also time to (slowly) make good and lasting habits that will allow you to face the New Year with more energy and alertness. And that is a great gift you can give yourself.

  • Hit the gym or go for a run: Don’t wait until after the New Year to make your noble attempts at fitness. If you start now, you’ll simply be continuing a new habit when the New Year rolls in.
  • Focus on nutrition: A couple of days of too much wine and food is normal (expected even!) but a couple of weeks of it and the New Year begins slower and heavier. Kickstart the year with a diet of whole foods, good fats and lots of protein.

Taking a break from daily routines and from the stress of your inbox these holidays will definitely help you to focus on what is important – your mental, physical, emotional and social well being and your relationships with your loved ones. By the time the year comes to a close, you’ll be recharged and re-energized to welcome a productive year ahead!

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