As the end of the year is fast approaching (where TF has 2016 gone?!?) we look back on the year that’s been and think about what we want in store for our own 2017.

Living in Hong Kong, you can get so caught up in saying yes, yes, yes to everything - going out, eating ALL the food at ALL the branches you could possibly attend, junking, hiking, partying, travelling... the list goes on. All this of course down outside your hectic 9-midnight work schedule and within the minimal annual leave given. It’s all fun, no doubt about that, but there seems to be a price to pay for those that don’t take the time to refuel and those that forget to check in with themselves every so often. Hong Kong is the kind of place to eat you up and spit you out if you aren’t careful so with Christmas events popping up left right and centre, end of the year parties emerging and tax bills arriving, RL are exploring ways to slow down this December. We are focusing on finding ways to say “no” to things without feeling guilty or lying about other commitments. We are also exploring why it is we say yes to everything and looking at what motivates us to always be out and about doing stuff ALL THE TIME. When did it become so taboo to say no?

In a city that runs on adrenaline and money, we are trying to focus on removing this idea that we have to be super successful, show face and have everything together. We live in a city where there is this constant pressure to have a high paying job, eat out at nice places all the time and be present or forgotten. We want to challenge these ideals and say it's ok to tell people you want to sit at home on a Saturday night reading a book, watching a movie or cooking a meal rather than going out and paying $500 on dinner and booze. Not saying that’s bad at all but sometimes some R and R to refuel and recover rather than keeping on going gung-ho all the time is just what you might need. Take the time to enjoy the little things. It sounds so cliche but living here you learn to appreciate that time more than ever. Try to stop convincing yourself to say yes or try and stop making up some ridiculous excuse if you do want to say no.

So we challenge you this month, with all the temptations of parties, Christmas present shopping and catch ups before the new year, to focus on yourself too. Slow down and enjoy the last month of 2016. Spend your Friday night at home catching up on the next instalment of Things I’ve Learnt As A Single White Girl In Hong Kong. Read our interview with Rebecca Masson as she reaches her PR status in Hong Kong and listen to our December Mixtape, a collection of some of our favourite songs released this year.

Forget the invitations piling up and that Christmas shopping list madly typed out on your notes app. Breath and take the time to check in with yourself because no one wants to arrive at New Year's looking worn out and haggard am I right?