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How to Survive the Holidays.

How to Survive the Holidays.

The holidays are a time for joy, wonder, love, and cheer. They give us an opportunity to reconnect with family, laugh with friends, and can provide us with a rare respite from the humdrum of the day-to-day.

However, they can also give us those awkward moments that we wish we could forget, handle better, or avoid completely. Here, I will give you a few tips on how to survive the holidays.

Family

Loved Ones

It’s always exciting to see that family member that you haven’t seen in “forever”, the new additions to the family, and of course the elders in their twilight. It’s a truly a beautiful thing. You should be aware of everyone equally. Don’t play the priority game with the ones that you love. Be weary of favoritism – provide everyone with the warmth and affection that they deserve. Sure, you may miss a moment or two with your “bestie” but in turn gain moments of love with the people that you’d never expected to adore with all your heart. Life is short, so love everyone thusly.

Not So Loved Ones

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Everyone has a relatively torrid history. There may be a person or two in attendance that you may not be very fond of. Remember, it’s the holidays. That individual(s) has dealt with the separatism for long enough. Extend your heart to them. If they rebuke the gesture, it’s okay, but never underestimate the power of love pitted against repudiation.

Festivities

Host

It’s never easy hosting a party. The stress mounts, the bar raises, and everyone seems to be unappreciative. The trick here is to acknowledge that most of the attendants are simply happy to be invited. They’ve come because they trust in your abilities as a host -abilities that you’ve proven yourself capable of transcending. There is no need to worry or over-reach. They’re the ones whose job it is to impress you. Give it your best effort and the crowd will follow suit in their praise.

Attendee

Etiquette is the key ingredient to participating in a successful gathering. Mind your manners, dress according to code, and obey the same “unwritten rules” that you do every day. No one enjoys a show-off and everyone hates an isolate. Find your niche and use it to happily engage your fellow patrons. Use your strengths as a person to commit to the success of the event, not to its detriment. You’re an attendee – not a judge – so act accordingly. Complimenting the host is not required (though it is highly encouraged).

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Interaction

Social

If you’re a social butterfly, then you are allowed to fly free (but not without some assistance). It’s never okay to gossip, mock, or “stir the pot”. If you’re bored, find someone interesting, talk to them. Chances are that they’re bored as well. Just don’t do anything regretful. Gatherings can tend to bring out the worst in people, so this is not the time to give an expose’. Use your powers for good! Connect the room. Whether you’re loud, angry, miserable or frustrated, these people love you. Find a way to bridge that gap and love them back – with the best of you.

Non-Social

You’ll be seen as the outcast – but this is a positive. This is your chance to break out of the rut. For {insert reason here} you feel as if you don’t connect with the people that you’re “forced” to see. But you have to understand that the tables of reality are turned.  Here, they wish to see you. The holidays are a happy time. Your goal is to show them what makes you happy and what makes them smile. Your connection with them could last a lifetime.

Conversation

Talker

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“Shut Up!”

Non-Talker

“Speak Up!”

Company

Big Family

The joy is simply having the company that you never knew you had. Embrace the people that you may never see again. It’s the little things in life that count. Some people are seasons – endure the weather and find its beauty.

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No Family

Enjoy the solitude that offers you an unrelenting peace. Endure what ails you and respect the things that you’ve chosen to love. This is your time to reflect, improve, and change the world. Every day is your opportunity. Grasp it with a passion that undeniably succeeds.

Happy Holidays!

Featured photo credit: Steve via flickr.com

More by this author

Antwan Crump

Novelist, blogger, essayist, podcaster.

What Happens When Ego Closes Our Mind but We Aren’t Aware of It The Hardest Part of Being a Minimalist That Most People Have Overlooked 5 Ways to Beat Procrastination How to Survive the Holidays. 5 Productive Ways to Multitask

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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