I always feel a little sad when the holidays are over. All that gift shopping, cooking, holiday party planning, and errand running has come to a screeching halt and suddenly the days feel a little emptier. Add to that the pressure to create goals and resolutions for the new year and it’s enough to make you want to crawl back into bed instead of jump out and conquer the day!
I’ve always had this down in the dumps feeling after the holidays, much like the feeling I often get after coming back from a long vacation. Well imagine my surprise when discovering that there is actually a name for this: the post holiday blues. Most commonly used to refer to the period after summer holidays and extended vacations, it also carries over to the period after the Christmas holidays.
So if you’re feeling a little less than excited to be back at work this week, read on for some tips to help you bounce back.
Accept your feelings
Whenever we are faced with a new emotion that’s out of the ordinary for us, it’s in our nature to want to try to immediately change it. But this may not be the best way to deal. Sometimes instead of rejecting the emotion, it’s better to accept it. Remind yourself that this feeling is temporary and simply a reaction to a life event, and so it will disappear as quickly as it appeared. Give yourself time and resist the temptation to move at a pace that’s faster than what you’re comfortable with right now.
Have something to look forward to
I remember reading once that the key to happiness is having something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. This has sort of stuck with me since then and I try to periodically assess my life for these things. Something to do can be broadly defined but refers to having a purpose; something that occupies your mind; something that motivates you to get out of bed in the mornings. Someone to love gives you a reason to look beyond yourself and care for another human being, which in turn makes you feel better about yourself.
Something to look forward to gives you a reason to be excited for the future. Remember when you were in school and spring rolled around? I don’t know about you but I counted the days to summer vacation! I actually had a calendar on my wall where I had numbered how many days of school were left and I couldn’t wait to cross another one off each evening!!
Believe it or not, things haven’t changed much in adulthood. The only difference is that we don’t take the time to savor the things we have to look forward to because we are so engulfed in our other life tasks. So go ahead! Plan a weekend getaway, or even a spa day in your own city. Book that table at the restaurant you’ve been dying to go to. Sign up for that class you’ve always wanted to take. Give yourself something fun and exciting to look forward to. If you focus on looking forward, you will look back less often and before you know it you’ll be back to the same energy levels you had before the holidays.
Fix your diet…slowly
It’s unrealistic to think that you can go from overindulging to strict diet and exercise from one day to the next. I am a firm believer that for changes to be long-term, they need to be gradual.
When it comes to diet, sometimes it’s easier to add good foods instead of eliminate bad ones. If you add a serving of veggies to every dinner, not only will you be getting the added nutrients, but the veggies will help fill you up and you may actually eat less overall.
If you’ve never been a fan of exercise, don’t expect to hit the gym 5 days a week. Instead, focus on adding a form of physical activity that you can enjoy like walking the dogs for a little bit longer or at a faster pace, or trying out yoga where you can get the benefits for both your body and mind.
Let it linger a little bit
Who says you have to take down your christmas lights as soon as the holidays are over? Leave them up and rearrange them. Brighten up a tree or string them across your patio or yard. You’ll get to hold on to the Christmas spirit a bit longer and refresh your outdoor space.
And just remember, the next holidays will be here before you know it!