2016 has gone down in the annals of history as one of the craziest and terrifying years to date. A lot of people have been lost through horrible events. The world is in upheaval over politics and wars.
Most people have been praying for 2016 to come to a swift close, but I think the best thing to do during the final days of 2016 is to make the best of it. Check out how you can end the 2016 year on a festive note.
Ditch work during the holidays
The most important thing is spending time with family and friends during the holidays. 2016 is the year that should have proven to millions of people worldwide just how tenuous our person-to-person connections are…and how important it is to keep them.
Cherish every moment you have with everyone you are in contact with presently. Rekindle some relationships that might have died during the course of elections around the world or just simply faded because everyone is so busy trying to survive.
Good-natured reunions are incredible experiences. The best of friends and family are those who, even after not meeting for years, give you a hug, hold intriguing conversations, and genuinely appreciate your company. In that light, 2016 will go out with fireworks and cheer.
More: 6 People to Forgive Before the New Year
Invest in practicing the act of giving
Second to meeting with people, invest in practicing the act of giving. I’m talking truly picking gifts for the individual that you need to think about. That means put down those iTunes gift cards and actually select the music.
DIY some ornaments with your favorite quotes straight from that person’s mouth. Make edibles. You will notice that giving people something they can appreciate – as in valuing with all their senses your effort and significance – is so much better for you both than just going the easy route.
I mentioned DIYing to ready you for a financial conversation. I am leery when it comes to the stock market in 2017. So I think the end of 2016 needs to be a time when your financial stability is addressed.
Get a low or 0% APR credit card. Refinance your house. Open a new savings account with zero maintenance fees. Take advantage of some amazing cash back deals. Make sure you plan for the future now.
Honestly, the future is so nebulous in terms of money that you can only count on what you have this instant. Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?
Also, the global economy is shifting away from the single, bread-winning career to remote work and side gigs. I recommend either plotting out your side gig during the end of 2016 or jumping right in. Around the holidays, you know you will have your work cut out for you. Why not take advantage of your talents and make some extra spending money?
2016 also exhumed the dangers of unhealthy diets, the truth about processed food, and how exercise is really the key to longevity and wellness. Use the end of 2016 to develop healthy habits, because no time is harder to stick to them than the holidays.
Form some unique but realistic goals that you know you can aim for, like not drinking all the eggnog or opting for a healthier breakfast on Christmas instead of the cookies Santa couldn’t eat the night before.
Better yet, use your vacation to go to some health and wellness workshops. Tag along with friends who have gym memberships (unless you have one too) and do some group exercise classes.
Blowing off the holiday-related stress will put you in a better mindset for 2017. You also get a hard start on everyone else who will, without a doubt, run to the gym after January 1st.
More: 10 Ways to Change Unhealthy Eating Habits
Make a new tradition
Whether you are single, have children, or are spending the holidays with extended family, do something new this year. Sometimes breaking away from routine can be chaotic and instill a lot of discontent in people, but it is also healthy to pull away from the normal way of doing things once in a while. Figure out ways to switch up the holidays. Examples include:
- Changing the holiday menu to something more healthy (ever consider ditching turkey and trying seafood?)
- Introduce new holiday games, like wrapping paper volleyball or nog-pong
Go on vacation rather than staying home.
- Invite more people into your home than usual, and ask them to do a Pollyanna.
- Instead of buying gifts, buy materials to make ingredients, and let the kids help too.
- Make new ornaments for your Christmas tree, and get everyone involved on Christmas Eve.
- Start taking family photos.
- Mail a family newsletter to those distant relatives and keep doing it every year.
2016 is not over yet, and no one can say what tomorrow will bring. However, if we spend our precious time with those who bring joy into lives, or if we give ourselves some self-care, this hectic year can end on a more positive and festive note. Not only will December 31st be dazzling, but you can wake up on January 1st with a smile.