On the suggestion of a good friend, I decided to write my own spin on the do’s and don’ts of the holiday season (or at the very least, what I will and will not do this coming season).

Do take the time to relax and do nothing

It feels like everybody around you is in a ‘go go go’ pace. If you’re not being productive, you are just wasting your time. But there’s a lot of merit in doing absolutely nothing this holiday season – it’s one of the reasons why meditation is so great (and can be incredibly difficult to those that have a busy mind). And it turns out that when you do nothing, it’s one of the secrets to getting back on track. Not only do you start to realize a lot of things when you don’t have all the clutter of the ‘go go go’ mentality in you but you also will start to want to do something too.

Don’t go overboard with the holiday shopping

Yes there’s some great deals to be had over the holiday season, especially now that Boxing Day has blown up to Boxing week and there are sales announced every day. Before you go and buy that nice TV or the awesome new vitamix blender, take the time to really think about your purchase and whether you need it or not. I heard this great rule from one of the Minimalists – he says that if it is over $30, take 30 days to consider it. If after 30 days, you still really need it then you can get it – but what he found is that the urge to purchase something passes after a while and you realize that you really don’t need it. I also think about what to get rid of after purchasing something – a lot of the purchases that I make these days may be replacing something else I already own and I want to make sure that I am not just adding to the clutter in my home.

Do spend time with close friends and family

Drink your tea, girl! Have that booze, boy! Having a break is not just great for you, but it’s great for your relationships as well because you know that your friend that you haven’t gone for a coffee with has a break as well and can spend the time with you (if they want to). It’s also a great time to connect and spend time with your family (even if you’re seeing them on a regular basis already).

Don’t answer those e-mails from work even though you probably want to

It’s really tempting to see that work e-mail that needs your response and just respond to it. It will take 5 minutes, maybe even less than that to respond and everything will be out of the way. But then you respond to it, and you respond to another, and then you respond to the original e-mail that you already responded to and then it turns into you constantly checking your e-mail. Put down your phone. Disable your work e-mail. Don’t do work.

Do read those books that you have been meaning to read

With so much spare time, what should you be doing if not work? Improving yourself. I would suggest reading but you don’t necessarily have to read – you can exercise and get back into shape, you can sign up for a course (I would recommend anything by Seth Godin, Ramit Sethi or Michael Hyatt) or you can practice cooking that delicious vegan meat pie that you have been staring at in your recipe book for ages.

Don’t be a hermit

If you like to stay at home, it’s easy to just stay at home all Christmas break. You only have to go out for food, maybe some household supplies but everything that you really need is at home. But I suggest you go outside, if even to just get some outdoor air. Being outside, connecting to nature and seeing other people will help recharge you.

Do plan ahead

I don’t just mean planning ahead on what you want to do over the holidays (and if you are organizing different parties or gatherings, you definitely need to plan ahead) but I mean planning for your next year. If you feel like last year did not go according to plan, think about how much planning you do. If I’ve learned anything in project management, it’s that the most important phase of a project is the planning phase because that can make or break your project.

Enjoy your winter holidays! What will you be doing and not doing over the break?