December can be particularly draining. It is the time of holiday bustle and rushing to wrap up end-of-year client transactions. All the activity and stress can leave you feeling depleted, even as you celebrate the season and try to enter the new year with hope and happiness.
(Related: “Five Tips for Handling Holiday Stress.”)
Here are five tips to help keep up your energy as you work and play through the rest of the year.
1. Sleep. You may not think a good night’s sleep is worth it, or that you can scrimp to accomplish more in more hours. But sleep is the foundation of good health. Without sleep, our immune system is depleted, our minds cannot focus, we make more mistakes, and our problem-solving skills are diminished. A sufficient amount of sleep is the best way to keep yourself energized and able to handle all that this year-end requires.
2. Good health — diet and exercise. Ensuring that you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly are great ways to provide your body with the energy it needs to thrive during this busy time of year. Make sure you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water, especially if you are drinking alcohol at various holiday parties. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. You don’t need to go to the gym seven days a week. Go for a walk or run, take the stairs at work, power walk at the mall while you holiday shop. The point is to move, whether at the gym or while handling other parts of your life.
3. Connection. One of the most energizing activities is spending time with people with whom you connect and engaging in activities that are meaningful to you. Whether that is spending time with family or friends, volunteering at the local animal shelter, or laughing with colleagues at the holiday party, do those things. The connection that you feel creates a sense of purpose and belonging, and that feeling is energizing.
4. Curiosity and interest. Much like connection, being curious about things that interest you is energizing. As we grow older, we lose some of our curiosity, either because we are so busy that we feel we don’t have time for it, or because experience has made us cynical and killed our curiosity. Redevelop your curiosity and things become more interesting. Aim to become a lifelong learner and approach tasks with a childlike mindset of curiosity.
5. Perseverance. As we learned in physics class, Newton’s First Law is that “an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.” Even when you are not feeling particularly energetic, just moving forward gives you energy. As I like to say, “when all else fails, just put one foot in front of the other.” The simple act of moving — whether it is actual physical movement or the mental act of continuing to try — often creates the energy we need to make it through.
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