I remember New Year's Day 2008. It was the last day of my maternity leave and I was heading back to work and leaving the house when I used to work in an office outside the home.
I always got post holiday blues but this one was so intense. Fast forward to this year it is pretty intense again.
I have to say, I am completely lucky and blessed to absolutely love both of my jobs and the fact I never dread working. But there is something about slowing down during the week from Christmas and New Year's with the kids home from school, no homework, no sports, no activities that is just so refreshing and much needed.
I think this year I realize how old the kids are getting and want life to slow down. I have a kid in high school now and before I know it she will be in college. I want to savor all these moments. Time spent with family and friends over this holiday season, a ski trip, movie nights, and much needed R&R but now back to our normal daily schedules.
The decorations are coming down, Hallmark and Netflix Christmas movies have come to a screeching halt, the radio has stopped playing Christmas music, work is going back to its regularly scheduled programming, and the kids are heading back to school. Chances are the high of all the holiday cheer and busyness has given way to feelings of loneliness and sadness, AKA the post-holiday blues. While the symptoms of post-holiday blues are short-term, there’s no denying they are very real. It's hard when we are coming down from the intense hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, get togethers, parties, vacations, indulgences, slowing down, and facing going back to business as usual.
There are ways to help with this post-season funk.
Get outside. Go out in nature, take a walk, get sunlight!Being in nature is said to help increase happiness, decreased anxiety, stress, and depression, and better focus.
Move/Exercise. Hello endorphins and dopamine.
Get sleep and rest. It is said we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep and I know for a fact I am nowhere near getting that much sleep. Lack of sleep can play with your emotions and make you even more emotional.
Relax. We don't always have to be going, going, going and busy. Try to bring in the slowing down from the Holidays into your everyday life.
Reset your eating habits. Chances are from Thanksgiving to the New Year more people over indulge in the sweets and libations. Eating an excess amount of sugar is said to reek havoc on your immune system. It can throw off our mood and energy levels. Try to take a break from the sweets. A lot of people practice Dry January also. Just taking a bit of a break to reset.
Think ahead and make plans. Think of things to look forward to, this can reduce stress and boost your mood. Grab a planner and start planning. Maybe schedule some coffee get togethers or a President's Day Weekend trip, or spring break trip.
Listen to uplifting and inspirational podcasts. I love doing this daily.
Create a vision board. This is so fun to do with the family. Put your goals and dreams down on a poster board.
Practice self-care. This is a huge one we should always be doing, not only at the first of the year. There is no one size fits all for self care. It can be anything from journaling, meditation, going on walks, getting facial and massages, listening to music and dancing, to going to pilates, reading books, to taking a long, hot bubble bath. Do what works and feels best for you.
What ever you choose to do to boost your mood, I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!