Winter is more than just Netflix binges and hot chocolates (we're boiling the kettle right now...). As the festive period dawns on us, how we approach it is like being presented with a turkey wish bone - or a Quorn one vegans (although we're actually not sure how that would work): we can pull one way yet and be convinced good vibes are coming our way, only to be surprised by the eventual outcome...
The key to surviving work, study and play this winter is to not fight against the harsh conditions: why wish time away pining for warmer months, when you don't get a single second of your 713,000 hours alive on this planet (the average for a UK human being) back in this precious thing called life? No, the key is to see every second of this season as the perfect opportunity to get ahead with some of the things we often cast aside when the sun is throwing us cosmic rays...such as re-connecting with friends and family, burying your head in some glorious books (study, pleasure or both), and finally: giving yourself a pat on the back for the difficult experiences and challenges you have overcome this year with a new found resilience and confidence to match. Now is the time to stop and breathe, rest and reflect on the year. You could even do some gentle exercise (there's nothing better to clear your head than a cold walk in warm layers).
The Danish and Norwegians know about harsh winters and the need to prevent loopiness via lack of vitamin D (which you get plenty of in summertime). Our Scandi homo sapien cousins practise Hygge (pronounced 'hoo-ga'). This roughly translates to a set of daily actions which build an environment - and with it a calm mindset - of complete coziness. The focus is on using the harsh winter as a blessing: to look inside oneself and shift one's focus from the hectic world of never-ending social media notifications and online shopping (we're glaring at you Black Friday) and back to the present moment, which is a wonderful thing we often forget to value and take in. To us at Push, Hygge is a great time to turn off your tech, grab a journal, put on your favourite hoodie...and self-reflect on how you feel right now. What thoughts are flowing through your mind (and why)? Are you getting what you truly want from life? If not; what inspired little steps you can put in place each day to feel work towards feeling as content (personally and professionally) as you can be.
A job is a huge part of our lives (and our wider career journey), and we a believers of the phrase 'do what you love and love what you do'. So, make a promise to yourself during these dark winter nights: if you're not feeling the love right now, who are the people all around you that love their jobs? Write a set of 20 questions you want answered by them. Contact them, talk to them, ask them for a coffee...and even invite them around for a Hygge dinner. Listening to others express the reasons they do what they do (and often the toils and sacrifices to get to where they are now) can help to turbo-boost your mindset for the new year. A journal is also useful for two other things. Firstly, writing a gratitude list: it is so good to remind ourselves each day of what we have (aim for five per day), which we often forget at the expense of which new material item we're craving. Secondly, write down a timeline of the key experiences that have shaped you this year, or you might even go wider and write a timeline of your life so far. You'll be surprised how much inner-belief and self-confidence can grow from being able to read about yourself - and how far you've come in life, the things you've achieved and the ways you've pushed through hard times and come out the other side a more resilient person.
Also, remember that walk...preferably around midday when the sun is highest in the sky. This will allow your body to absorb as much vitamin D as possible, which can help ward off those feelings of sadness, fatigue or stress...and keep you as sharp as possible under these darkened skies.
MOJ TAYLOR is a comedian who started stand up when selected for the BBC's Stand Up If You Dare in 2013 - and was mentored by Mark Dolan and Jasper Carrott. He is the Executive of Push - he has also won a Fringe First award in Edinburgh as an actor. Within Push, he is responsible for overall business development, the selection and training of presenters, and collaborative outreach. He also works closely with Johnny to ensure all the Push framework is deeply informative, but also inspiring and funny. His website is mojtaylor.com.
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