We begin a new year with the end of last year, and some of its situations are still hanging on. Chances are you haven’t had much time to reflect, relax, or decompress after a stressful year of work and travel. The rush to the holiday finish line is filled with last-minute shopping, frantic party rounds, and vacation time that can feel like part of the race. To truly unwind and take stock of the year gone by, it’s crucial to take some time out for true reflection and relaxation, so you start the new year refreshed. Here are a few easy ways to relax and recharge so that you will be more prepared for the New Year.

how to recharge yourselfIf you’ve spent the past year taking back to back meetings and working impossible hours, it can be difficult to simply turn all of that off. Since you’re still in work mode, ease the transition by scheduling a little downtime into your day. Putting a few hours of relaxation time into your daily calendar will encourage you to follow through on some much-needed rest. After you begin to grow more accustomed to taking a slower approach, start scheduling a whole day off now and then.

Instead of making New Years’ resolutions, choose one goal you’d like to accomplish during the first quarter of the new year. Planning 12 months in advance is overwhelming and unrealistic. Breaking goals down into manageable chunks is the fastest way to achieve success. A few small successes can add up to one large accomplishment quicker than you may think.

It may sound strange, but there is no better way to get a jump-start on the new year and to lower your anxiety than to start your taxes now. Spend 15 minutes a day calculating deductions and collecting receipts; you’ll be surprised how much this relaxes you knowing you have a head start. You’ll feel like a business guru who’s fully organized and fully prepared to hit the ground running.

Make sure to do one fun thing before the end of the year. Choose something that is not related to work in any way, and that gives you a sense of joy and accomplishment. Try to think of something to do that will be a true experience and an adventure, not just another cookie-cutter vacation. Sometimes the choices that we give ourselves can show us the greatest insights into our careers and our lives.

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