Whew! The holidays have come and gone with a whirlwind of activity, gifts, parties, dinners, and cleanup. Now that they’ve passed, you can heave a sigh of relief. But wait a minute, what’s that you’re feeling now that all the presents have been unwrapped and put away, the relatives have gone back home, and the vacation days are over for the time being? If you are experiencing a bit of post-holiday blues, you’re not alone. We can help! Here’s some expert advice on how to get back into the swing of things and beat those blues for good.
- Be mindful of the moment. Too many times in life, we get caught up in anticipating, planning, and looking forward to an event, without really living in the moment on the way there. Don’t let the joy of the present be swallowed up by always looking ahead. We’re not saying it’s bad to plan, of course, because that can be a very good thing. We just need to remember to appreciate the moment we are in right now, on the way to wherever it is we are going. To help with this, you can even write in a journal to remember special instants and articulate your emotions at that specific moment. By enjoying the journey your life will be much richer, and you won’t lose the treasure of today while looking forward to tomorrow.
- Do something special for yourself. How long has it been since you took a long soak in the tub? During the holiday rush, you probably played hostess, gift consultant, personal shopper, chauffeur, gift wrapper, fashion adviser, and any number of roles where you provided a service to someone else. Now it’s time to do something for YOU! Unwrap that bath gift set you got from your favorite cousin and put those products to use. Block off at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time (lock the door if you have to) and relax in a tub of soothing, scented, bubbly bath water. You’ll emerge relaxed and refreshed, ready for anything.
- Declutter. The new year is a great time to take inventory and clear out unnecessary items from your closets, cabinets, desk, and storage. If you haven’t used an item for over a year, it’s a good bet you won’t. Unless it is a family heirloom you really want to keep, put it in a box or bag to give away. If you’re not quite ready to let go, organize and file away your items to make more space. You don’t have to tackle the whole house at once; try clearing one closet at a time, once a month, until you have gone through every room in the house. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to have more elbow room.
- Focus on eating healthy. If you are feeling a little overloaded with holiday goodies, remember there’s no rule that says you have to eat it all. Take your unopened, uneaten holiday chocolates, cookies, fudge, and that fruitcake you got from Aunt Martha and donate them to your local food bank, retirement home, or homeless shelter. Restock your kitchen with healthy food and cookbooks, and you’ll start feeling better as you start eating better.
- Go to bed earlier. Since most of us don’t have the option of sleeping in before the weekend, try going to bed one hour earlier during the work week. Amid the holiday craziness with dinners out, parties, and late-night gab sessions with houseguests, you probably didn’t stick to a regular sleep schedule, and your body may be reaping the consequences. Sleep is restorative, and now that the holidays are past, you can bump back your bedtime a bit and get a few extra winks. Sleep deprivation is no joke, and going to bed just a little bit earlier may be just the ticket to help your mind, body, and emotions battle those post-holiday blues and win.