By just about every objective measure, 2020 has been one of the most stressful years in recent memory. It started off with pictures of half-charred koala as the entire continent of Australia caught fire and moved swiftly into Donald Trump assassinating an Iranian general and nearly sparking World War 3. All of that happened before an airborne virus that no one had ever seen spread around the world faster than Usain Bolt being chased by a lion. It is almost as if the celestial powers that be decided to take a lunch break and in their absence a gremlin with “chaos” tattooed across its forehead grabbed the controls and had the time of its life. So if you have made it to December — congratulations! With that said, chances are your stress, anxiety and depression levels are at an all time high. Well, outside of being ibig dayz season, December is probably the best time of the year for most people to rest and replenish their energy reserves for what could be a wild year ahead.
Here are 5 ways to do that:
Let Go Of Your Goals (temporarily)
Don’t get us wrong, goals are great. Ask any motivational speaker or Instagram influencer. They’ll tell you ad nauseam just how brilliant goals are.The thing is, there comes a point where they can also become a source of anxiety. According to psychology and personal wellness website Verywellmind.com, goals can be a spring of tension and anxiety, especially when they are too pressing or unrealistic. It’s December. We know you are part of a #TeamNoSleep, aka hustle hard gang, but create a temporary bubble where your goals don’t hang over your head like the sword of Damocles. You can tackle those things next year.
Being able to live in a digital world has not only been convenient but downright lifesaving. Imagine if working from home was not an option for anyone? That said we are all well aware of how unhealthy our phones are for us. Whether it’s the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, or famed tech ethicist Tristan Harris campaigning about how our phones are designed to be bad for us, the point is we all know that phones and cigarettes are in the same WhatsApp group. So find something to do where you can tuck your phone away for a few hours and concentrate on the task at hand. Puzzles are a good idea. So are books, colouring books, conversations and basically anything invented before 1994. Just as long as it isn’t TV. Our moms said too much TV makes your eyes square.
We’re not talking influencer active or preparing to run a marathon. Just take a walk. It can be a few hundred meters. Do 13.7 push-ups. Swim 8 laps. The idea is not to get active so you can build the kind of body that gets you weightloss tea sponsorships, it’s just to use your body. The US Centre For Disease Control suggests that some moderate intensity exercise helps your brain, weight, immune system, muscle health and mental health. Our bodies were made to move, so move them. Don’t move them because you want to move them, get active because you’ll feel better afterwards.
Technically this means meditate but that term can often be daunting, and again, the point isn’t really to become the Dalai Lama. Instead just find a quiet 5-10 minutes every other day and push all your thoughts out and just breathe. Don’t think, just breathe. There are a whole bunch of apps that can help with this.
What is the point of all the work and stress you have endured this year if you are just going to do more of it in December? Do something fun. Something you love. Not something people say you should love, but an activity you genuinely enjoy. If you like chasing butterflies then run those critters down. Should gaming be your thing then take 24 hours to become the best Assassin’s Creed player that ever lived. Life is for the living and being at work or stressed constantly isn’t living. Go play with your dogs or count stars in the sky. Whatever tickles you most. You will feel better for it.