The 12 Days of Christmas: How you can find passion for the New Year!

By Anita Manuel, Career Development Program Manager

12daysofchristmasAs we come to the close of another semester and year, many students feel exhausted and stressed.  We want to remind you to take time this holiday season to RELAX and RECONNECT with yourself, your family and friends.  We definitely want you to find career success, but you can’t pursue your passions or get inspired for your job search if you are caught up in the details and pressures of daily life.  So, be kind to yourself and give yourself the gift of wellness.

Here are some ideas or activities that you can do each day on the 12 days leading up to Christmas to help you find inspiration and energy for the next year!

1.   Make time for self-reflection

Life goes by so fast sometimes that we don’t even know what it is that we want or why we are working so hard towards a specific goal.  Take the time to reflect on the past semester or year and appreciate all that you’ve accomplished as well as want you want to change for next year.  Here are some sample questions to get you started.

 2.      Exercise

Chances are that when you are super busy, the first thing that you stop doing for yourself is exercise.  Nothing will clear your mind and make you feel better faster than breaking a sweat.  Research shows that all it takes is 30 minutes of physical activity to reap the benefits of exercise.  Here are the top 7 benefits of exercise as outlined by the Mayo Clinic to get you excited about taking a walk or hitting the gym.

 3.      Do what you love

This sounds so simple…but when was the last time that you felt free to do what you love?  It could be reading a good book, going to the movies, or walking your dog.  Whatever that “favorite thing” is, do it!  This is a time to recall what brings you joy and you deserve to reconnect with those passions.

 4.      Meet up with friends

What better time to get together with friends (old and new) than over the holidays.  Go to coffee, have a party, share stories and LAUGH! By the way, laughter is also good for your health.

 5.      Spend time with family

You’ve worked hard and no one appreciates you more than those you consider family.  Spend some time with your loved ones to re-energize and let them take care of you.  Also, listen to what they have to say about your accomplishments or what they appreciate about you…it’s good for your soul but also reminds you of what you do well.

6.      Reconnect with your spirit

Regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, we all have a way to feel inner peace.  Give yourself time to practice whatever it is that helps you connect with your inner spirit and find peacefulness.  Not sure how to get centered?  Try meditation, prayer, yoga or even just taking time to breath deeply. 

 7.      Give something back

This is a time of thanks and giving.  Studies show that much of what makes us happy actually stems from doing something meaningful.  Remember all those who have helped you out along your journey this last year and think of ways to give something back.  It can be as simple as sending someone a thank you note or a sentiment of appreciation. Check out these ideas of how to increase your own happiness through giving back.

 8.      Try something new

Life is only as interesting as you make it, so get out of your comfort zone and try something new.  Not only will you learn a new skill or find a new hobby but you’ll also have fun doing it.  Learning new things helps you stay curious, creative, and builds self-confidence– all of which are key attributes to overall life satisfaction and success.

 9.      Make a music mix

If you find yourself in a funk, listening to your favorite song or band will surely change your mood.  Now that you have some time for yourself, put together a mix of your favorite jams so that when you need that extra boost, it’s ready and at your fingertips! Need a little inspiration, check out this list of top songs for 2013

 10.  Take a nap

Because sleep is amazing and you probably didn’t get enough of it this semester.

 11.  Eat a good meal

Because good food is amazing and what makes the tummy happy, makes the soul happy.

 12Practice Gratitude

Because you made it through another year!  You’ve experienced various accomplishments and challenges which have helped you grow.  Take time to appreciate the journey you have taken this last year and value each experience as a part of living a full life.   Practicing gratitude will give you a new perspective, which will set you up for a positive start to 2014!   

Wishing you all the best this holiday season! The career center team is here to support you during the winter break.  Feel free to drop by during our winter drop-in hours Tuesday/Wednesday 1:30pm-3:30 pm (12/17/13-1/22/14, office closed 12/24/13-1/2/14) @ the Career Center (Admin. Building, 154).

anita_manuel[1]Anita has been a career professional in higher education for the past 12 years.  She is dedicated to helping clients create meaningful lives and provides advising on career related topics.  She also specializes in development of creative programs to support career education.

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