Happy 2021! Tips for a fresh, productive start!


Happy new year, everyone!

It's been a hell of a year, that old 2020. But now, we're starting a new one, and a new decade at that!
Time for a fresh start. We realise that we can't yet fully say goodbye to many of the sorrows that plagued us in the last year. Nevertheless, we always look to help, and because we all could use some more self-love when it comes to stress and pressure, here are some personal tips given by our GEMH Lab team members!

  • Help yourself start your year ánd day with a clean slate: archive emails from the past, and remember to close all your tabs at the end of your work or study day. Nothing worse than, on a brand new day, being reminded of all the things you didn't finish yesterday. (;

  • Switching off from work is not as easy as it used to be, not that we don't change environments between work and private anymore. Give yourself 15 minutes to 'cool down' at the end of your work day, and make sure you don't work on big stuff during that last quarter of an hour. Instead, use this time to wrap up and finish some easy stuff.

  • More regarding ending your work day: be clear with yourself at what time you want to stop, and stick to it! Don't let your work day end later and later each day. Set a timer, and take into account those 15 minutes of cooling down. (:

  • Try to spend more time outside and provide yourself with a change of scenery. Taking short walks, or other breaks can help to re-energize you! For instance, if you're used to prepping your lunch in the morning, leave that for actual lunch time, so that you have an excuse (if you need one ;) to step away from your desk.

  • Some of our GEMHies say they have thrived on integrating a specific moment during their day to reflect. Think about what you've accomplished, how that went, and how you feel. You can also take the time to think about what you want to get done tomorrow, but make sure you don't needlessly dwell on things that are in the future.

  • After work, non-screen activities might be a nice change of pace. As tempting as Netflix and Disney+ may be, some of our GEMHies have really enjoyed doing something with their hands, instead. For instance, find a puzzle you can work on, or make some music (preferably with others!).

  • If you feel frustrated with how your work is going, or how much you're getting done, remember that some things just aren't meant to be done in a day or two. Divide your work up into small goals and tasks, so that you can easily and often indulge in the sweet satisfaction of checking off to-do items. Crossfit in the morning? What about cross-out in the morning?! The earlier in the day you start feeling like you're on a roll, the better. (: 

We hope these tips from our GEMHies help you in our (work) wellbeing. Feel free to share your own tips and experiences in the comments!


Nastasia Griffioen
Chief Scientific Officer

Nerd, is fascinated by the brain even more than your average zombie, into etymology and reading, drawn to anything tech-related, especially artificial intelligence. Wants to explore social tech (such as social media) and how these relate to young people's wellbeing.


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