5 Ways To Use Your Winter Break To Start The Year Strong

waystousewinterbreak.001.png

The holidays are here (!), and your #1 focus should be to rest and recharge with loved ones. These couple weeks off are also an awesome time to do things you know you should be doing—if you weren't so damn busy. Whether you have time off from work or school, here are some things you can do (should you need a quick break from the festivities) to start the new year strong, not stressed.

1) Finally get around to updating your resume.
If brushing up your resume has been on your to-do list since August, now's a great time to get it ready for the new year. We tend to only update our resumes when we need to find a job, but working on it before it's an emergency gives you more time to pour yourself into it. Think more polish, less desperation.

2) Start that side project you've been thinking about.
The hardest part of a side project is starting, especially in the middle of classes, meetings, and deadlines. Separated from the everyday hustle, now is a great time to start something to pump up that resume or give yourself a creative outlet outside of work or school. To help get you going, here are some debunked myths about side projects, including some examples for inspiration.

  Image from  Bob's Burgers

Image from Bob's Burgers

3) Zoom out and give back.
When you're feeling overwhelmed or lost in life, one of the best proven remedies is to find ways to help others. Whether it's volunteering at a local soup kitchen or lending a hand at a community garden, giving back reminds us to zoom out and look outside ourselves. Pick something fun—it'll make your worries feel small, and fill you with positive energy you can take into the new year.

4) Get inspired.
It's hard to be inspired when our heads are buried in due dates and deliverables, but exposing ourselves to things that stretch our mind is crucial in a creative business. Find inspiration outside of advertising—things like theatre, art, science, nature. Feed your brain with new and different kindling, because you never know what ideas it'll spark in the future.

5) Set your goals, and make them scary. 
This sounds super basic, but there's no better time to set goals for yourself than when you're away from your desk. Be as specific as possible about what you want to achieve next year—turn large, abstract goals ("Be better at networking") into quantifiable ones ("Reach out to 25 people in the industry"). Make your goals scary, because you're capable of so much more than you think. 

You got this,
Natalie