How to unwind and reset for the new year during the holidays

- December 21, 2023 2 MIN READ


December is finally here. For many, it’s long been anticipated, with travel plans, food adventures and long overdue catchups already planned, especially after a year laden with many socio-political challenges, writes Thomas Amos, CEO & Co-Founder, of Sidekicker

Recent research by off-grid cabin startup Unyoked and LinkedIn on The Nature of Work found that 96 per cent of workers have experienced burnout in the past 12 months, while 45 per cent think about work outside of work hours.

With the outlook for 2024 remaining a testing year, the best way forward is to prepare by unwinding, resetting and going into the new year with fresh vision and new resolve. A mindset shift can always turn the glass half full.

Here’s how you can unwindreset and get your heart and mind at peace and ready for the new year

5 steps to help you unwind during the holidays

1. Review the year

We look back to look forward. A look back at the year is a great mental exercise that draws a boundary between this year and the next. It tells the brain that something new is coming, prompting a reset.

2. Plan ahead

A wise person once told me that preparation is the key to success. While spontaneity has its place during the holidays, planning ahead provides peace of mind and helps visualise what the new year could look like – be it milestones you want to reach, places you want to visit, or achievements you wish to attain.

Planning helps clarify goals and objectives, and thus determine the steps needed to achieve them. With a plan, people tend to feel less stressed, more confident and free, as Stanford scholar Professor Michael Bratman outlined.

3. Eat well and have fun these holidays

Holidays are for big feasts, from decadent cheese platters to having leftovers for days, but your body will thank you for consuming nutrient-dense foods in balanced meals.

And remember the days of either forgetting to eat, wolfing down your food or eating while multitasking? Take advantage of the holidays to slow down and eat mindfully.

4. Do things out of the ordinary

What was your routine during the year to maximise productivity at work? Was it checking your phone as soon as you wake up, going to the gym before work, eating lunch at sharp noon every day or taking afternoon walks for a breather? Whatever it was, switch things up for the holidays to get your mind out of your usual work habits. This, like reviewing the year, reminds the brain and mind that you’re not in the same ‘work space’ during the holidays.

5. Taste and see nature

No matter how you worked – remote, hybrid or full-time in the office – you were confined in a particular space throughout the year. One way to reset is to get out of familiar territory. Try trekking a trail you’ve never done, tick an unvisited beach off your list or try a new outdoor activity.

According to a study by the University of Exeter, those who spend at least two hours a week in nature have better health and psychological wellbeing than those who don’t. Beyond just moving your body out of a familiar environment, being in Earth’s natural beauty will reduce stress, boost creativity and clear our minds.

Whether 2023 was stellar or otherwise, making the most out of your holidays by unwinding and resetting is essential for a great start to 2024.

By switching your routine, you’ll be in a better position to tackle anticipated challenges in the new year – keeping healthy will do wonders for your mindset.

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Want to master 2024? End 2023 on the right note