Wrap up the year

Year End PartyThe last few weeks of a year always seem to be a mad rush. Last week, we had our company year end party which was such a great laugh. In less than 2 weeks, we’ll celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Christmas. For a lot of expats in Dubai, this will be time to travel to their home countries and many are also thinking how and where to spend New Year’s Eve. I’m so happy that all this is sorted and I’ve some peace of mind!

Yet, as we’re getting ready to celebrate, it’s also time to wrap up 2015. Nowadays, year end is almost forgotten and few people only use it to reflect. Instead, we’re already focusing on the next year. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s finish this year first. Here’s a list of activities to wrap up in 2015:

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Unplug

This weekend, my friend from London was visiting and we were enjoying the beautiful weather in Dubai. Laying at the beach, soaking in the sun, relaxing, it was gorgeous! As I was looking around, I realised how much I love these moments of peace, quiet and sunshine.

I also noticed how well my friend did without her phone. Fair enough, she didn’t have data roaming and free wifi was not always available. Still, seeing her carrying on a normal face-to-face conversation without looking at her phone every 2 minutes was almost a new thing for Dubai.

It made me look back at a previous holiday where my work phone didn’t have reception. While it was only a short break, it was a very uncomfortable feeling for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m easily replaceable, or so I think. My colleagues thought differently and relaxation was gone once I saw the number of emails in my inbox. For me, this holiday showed me that I can unplug and live without my phone after all!

When was the last time that you stopped being connected 24/7? 

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Emotional Clutter – Get a tissue

About 2 years ago, my mother and I embarked on our own little decluttering journey: We went through the storage room which also included some of my grandma’s stuff. Even though my grandma passed away in 2000, it was a deeply emotional process. For my mother, it was a final good bye from the woman who meant the world to her.

There was the manicure set which my grandma frequently used. It had surely outlived its days – it was so loved. It was time to throw it out. Besides, my mom probably had 2 or 3 manicure sets of her own. Yet, she struggled to put it in the bin.

The question asked most often that day was: “How about we give this away? You don’t need and there are other people who’ll enjoy having this item.”

Knowing that she could help other people made the process of clearing the storage room and letting go of my grandma’s belongings a lot easier. She would make someone else happy with things she no longer needed or wanted. And for that, my mom was grateful.

You may have gone through similar experiences. A relationship has ended or loved one has passed away. You don’t want to simply throw out their things. Emotional clutter, just like physical clutter, can weigh you down and pause your life. But what do you do with emotional clutter?

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Mindful – Welcome to the here and now

How often are you answering emails while watching a film? How often are you in a meeting while thinking about the outstanding deadline? How often are you calling to a friend while driving? These days, multitasking is normal. We’re doing 2, 3 or even more things at once. And yet, we’re not dedicating our focus on them.

Mindfulness is a great way to fully live in the moment. It’s a deliberate choice to experience that particular moment. Mindfulness allows you to take it all in: What’s happening with your body, mind and emotions. And it’s all without a judgement. You just live in the here and now. How often are you practising mindfulness?

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