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Six tips to help end your year on a magical high

This is the best time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the next one.

The most wonderful time of the year is finally upon us. After spending the last 12 months circumnavigating the new normal, this is our chance to enjoy a well-deserved break.

A time to step away from school runs, zoom meetings and the mundane stresses of everyday life, and instead kick back, relax, and make merry with friends and family.

Yet for many, the festive season can also be the most stressful.

The leading mentalist in Africa, Larry Soffer shares some valuable tips to help boost your festive cheer, keep some of the magic alive and find memorable ways.

• Plan to do something new or different
“You might be taking a break from work, but that doesn’t mean a break from family. I absolutely love being busy, going from event to event and city to city to entertain people at their year-end functions, but I also enjoy the quiet time too.”

He said that things tend to slow down in the second week of December, and he can relax and spend time with his wife, family, and friends.

“I might have a show here and there, but I love this time as it usually is the only opportunity I get to do all the little things, I don’t usually have time for. I especially enjoy visiting new places with my wife or working on something exciting in the garden.”

• Make memories with loved ones
The best part of this time of year is that the weather is bright and warm in sunny South Africa. Spending time with family, especially those we don’t see very often, is a wonderful way of experiencing the magic of this time.

“I was raised Jewish, and as a young boy we celebrated Hanukkah by visiting my grandparents. I loved hearing the story about The Festival of Lights because it was so magical, and it brought so much hope. My grandmother would also make all the traditional Jewish food and my cousins would visit for the holidays,” said Soffer.

• Lists are your best friend
Having lots of things to do can be really overwhelming and the very thought of a mountain of tasks can scare us off from doing them.

To prevent this from happening, Soffer advises to stop, take a breather, and then make a list of everything, no matter how big or small, that needs to be done. Once it’s all down on a piece of paper, it doesn’t look as daunting.

“You can then break up tasks, so you only do a few a day or put them in order from most urgent to less. This is especially good if you are putting off your entire list because of just one task.”

• Treat yourself, not just others
This is the best time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the next one.

“I find that people tend to be more forgiving and accepting during the holidays, not just of others but of themselves too,” said Soffer.

We want to believe in the goodness of others and the joy within and let it shine through. We become more giving and generous, helping the homeless or less fortunate and we even treat ourselves more which is great. In buying end-of-year treats and gifts, remember to indulge in something for yourself too. It’s ok to feel tired

Just don’t let the fatigue control you.
Acknowledge how you feel but remember to put things into perspective. Yes, you’re bound to feel exhausted, but also note that this is the holidays, and you have a great opportunity to relax and unwind with loved ones.

If things do get too much though, don’t be afraid to get some space. Never underestimate the impact a leisurely walk in fresh air can have on the mind and body.

Believe in the magic of the season
‘Tis the season to be jolly, merry, have fun and let loose. Christmas is an extra special time where even the most cynical dare to believe in the childlike wonder and magic of Father Christmas.

So many people wish for Christmas miracles when they usually wouldn’t have the faith to believe in the impossible at any other time of the year.

Spreading joy and happiness, really opens our hearts and minds. Think positive and think about how life would be if we lived like this all year round!

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