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How to prepare for downtime – the pre-holiday vibe guide

This is going to sound really wild but… if your totally wired brain is low-key dreading the holidays, purely because you’ve forgotten how to relax… have we got the solution for you. Swipe through for our top tips on how to get your brain ready for Christmas Holiday shutdown.

You’ve been counting down the days, staring at the calendar, ready and waiting for your Christmas break to begin. You’re putting in the long hours, probably forgetting to do basic things like eat and sleep, but it’s totally fine. Why? Because something amazing is coming. Holidays! We realised recently that the one thing no one really talks about, is how or why you actually need to prepare for the holiday period. But don’t worry, we have the solution. 

Think about it… how do you go from working at a million miles an hour to stopping completely? It’s actually a lot harder than you think. It’s also not really something we talk about openly, just because of the expectation that everyone should know how to holiday, right? Apparently, it should be easier to relax than it is to work as hard as you have been. Well… that’s not always the case. Which is why we’ve put together our top five tips to help you slide into holiday mode and really switch off, this festive season.

1. Set yourself a pre-shutdown date

This is a big one, which is exactly why it’s number one on this list. If your official shutdown date is say… the 17th of December, our tip is to set the 16th as a slower work day. This is a day where you send final emails, do final checks, touch base with colleagues, remind them (if necessary) that you’re officially on leave as of tomorrow, set up one of those automated replies, and start to mentally prepare yourself for holidays. Take this pre-shutdown day as one to shift your mind from overdrive to holiday time. You’re still working, don’t get me wrong, especially if you’re in the office, but now is the time to start unwinding. You’ll feel accomplished by doing things officially as well, instead of simply disappearing as of midnight.

2. Do some 2022 admin on your first day off

What, are you jokin’ me m8? Work, on my first day off? Tell him he’s dreaming. Yeah, yeah I hear you, but… wait until the end of this paragraph before you jump down our throats okay? Your mind is probably still in work mode. Now, we’re not saying set your alarm for 6am, put your suit on (or your tracksuit if you’re a freelancer – but also you should probably throw those out) and go full speed ahead. Go and grab a coffee at your fave cafe, have a celebratory breakfast, and do some rough planning for 2022.

You’ve probably already got a good idea of what projects are in store, right? Or at least what you want to achieve. Familiarise yourself with deadlines, and if there’s anything you’ll need to do the day you return to the office/online.

Another hot tip? Get yourself a fancy diary (if you’re old-school like that), buy some new stationery before the back-to-school rush, tidy your desk, throw out that banana you were never going to eat anyway, and start things fresh! This is all about capitalising on that (slightly manic) energy you’ve still got going on, and helping your mind switch off, so you can stop worrying about unforeseen deadlines, and upcoming tasks. You’re already all over it.

3. Make a list of fun things you’re looking forward to doing during the holiday period

Are you a child? No, but lists are here to help everyone! Making a list of all of the fun things you want to do over the Christmas break not only helps you get into the spirit, it gives your mind something different to focus on. Do you appear like a type-A weirdo? Sure! But come holiday time, you’ll be chillin’ like the best. In the spirit of transparency, Laura (a chronic over-thinker and over-worker) has shared her list. Feel free to copy and paste as you’d like.

  1. Ice cream at Baskin Robbins to see the Christmas lights (a tradition)
  2. Drive around looking at Christmas lights
  3. Read Nigella’s Christmas cookbook from cover to cover
  4. Listen to Adele’s album (and probably cry – still fun though)
  5. Go Christmas shopping
  6. Fish and Chips at Scotties!
  7. Reintroduce myself to my partner (and my pets) after a hectic couple of work months
  8. Nap. Nap forever
  9. Go for cocktails at the Falcon, without taking my laptop
  10. Watch the new Sex and the City season (obviously)

4. Celebrate

5. Watch that show, listen to that podcast, read that book, or do that thing you’ve been wanting to do

Words: Laura Kebby  | Photography: Zoe Lonergan

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