Recharge your brain for 2020
For many people, the Christmas/New Year break is their longest time away from the office which is why it’s so important to make good use of it. By now, you know the importance of recharging your mind to improve your performance, memory recall, stress response and mental health. But how exactly do you make sure you use your holidays to recharge?
Tips on recharging over the holiday break:
1. Switch off.
Limit work calls and emails over these days. Ideally, completely switch off. Set up your out of office response.
2. Eat well.
While Christmas is a day of indulgence for many of us, set yourself up for good nutrition during the rest of the holidays. Good, whole foods, healthy eating patterns, etc. to break bad habits formed during the year. Limit caffeine and sugar.
“Get out into nature this holiday period. Nature therapy has been shown to reduce stress, increase happiness and improve your health and wellbeing.”
3. Schedule sleep.
Use this period to get the sleep you need. While holidays are used by many to binge watch TV shows, or binge drink while off work, these are depletion activities that sap your energy, stress your body and can encroach into your sacred sleep cycle. Focus on getting 7+ hours of sleep every night.
4. Be present.
The best gift you can give your family is to be present in those moments you have with them, when they aren’t competing with your work. Schedule family time, whether it’s a trip to the beach, at home in the pool or backyard, playing a board game or just going for a walk together. Leave your phone at home. It’s amazing how replenishing and rewarding this can be.
5. Set your intent for the year ahead.
Often, when you’re spinning on that mouse wheel, it’s difficult to get perspective on how home life and habits are working against us. Just as our performances at work are reviewed, we need to review our lifestyle performance. Think of this as an opportunity to consciously slow down, to begin setting in place the good habits you want to develop before the added pressure of daily work returns.
Take time to set up your Vision Board. It’s amazing how powerful visualisation can be. It also helps you prioritise what is important for the year.
6. Breathe deeply, or meditate.
When we’re all go-go-go, we don’t realise we spend all day shallow breathing. On your time away from the office, take 10-20 minutes each day to just sit, quietly, and breathe deeply. Focus on nothing else. For beginners, meditation is calming. For those who practice long-term, science tells us meditation changes their brains for the better.
7. Be grateful.
Each morning, you have 30 seconds to put yourself into a positive mood. Gratitude practice is one of the quickest ways to put your mind into the right frame and set your day (and year) up for success.
Getting into nature is one of the best things you can do over the holiday period. We live in one of the most beautiful and nature-rich countries in the world. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Nature therapy has been shown to reduce stress, increase happiness and improve your health and wellbeing.
Most people think habits take 21 days to re-set, but the research is still not crystal clear. There does seem to be some evidence supporting 60 days though. We do know that most do drop a new habit after three days. Use your holiday break to enjoy some quality downtime, continue those good habits beyond three days, and set yourself up for a good start to 2020. This could be the most important break you take all year!