5 Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues
The holidays have come and gone. Presents are all opened, decorations are coming down and the magic of the season is slipping away. Now it’s time to get back to our regular routines, while trying to live up to the resolutions we made on New Year’s Eve. Don’t let yourself slip into negative thoughts! These five tips can help beat the post-holiday blues:
1. De-Clutter and Donate
While you’re putting away holiday decorations, take time to re-evaluate what you have. Are there decorations still in the basement that you didn’t even take out this year, or last year? Someone else may find more joy out of those items and you can find joy in new-found storage space! Cleaning and de-cluttering can be therapeutic and sets you up with a clean slate to start fresh. Get rid of things you don’t need so you can focus on what is important to you. Break the work down into sections and set aside time each week to tackle one or two areas. You don’t need to clean and de-clutter everything at once! Small goals will help you feel accomplished and motivate you to keep going. Separate out what you want to keep, what needs thrown away and what you can donate.
2. Unplug and Practice Mindfulness
The holiday pictures have been shared and a new year of work has begun. Social media, emails, news stories and other notifications that we feel like we have to constantly stay on top of get exhausting! Set aside time before bed each night to unplug – turn your cell phone off, shut down your computer and step away from the television. Take time to reflect on your day and practice mindfulness. What was the best conversation you had today? What was one funny thing that happened? Reflecting and meditating each day can help to lower blood pressure, enhance your mood and boost your memory. Those notifications can wait until morning.
3. Stay Active
Are you one of the thousands of Americans who resolved to lose weight or exercise more in 2020? Even if you’re not, incorporating exercise into your daily routine helps more than just your physical health! Mental benefits of staying active include decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, increased self-esteem and self-confidence and better sleep. You don’t have to go to a gym every day to reap the benefits. Taking a short walk, stretching for 15 minutes, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator is enough to see and feel a difference.
4. Schedule Time With Friends
All of the holiday parties are over and the next holiday seems so far away. Do you have friends that you only see a few times a year and find yourself always saying that you need to see each other more often… but then you never do? Reach out and schedule time with the friends, even if it’s just for a short coffee break. Knowing that you have something to look forward to and taking time to talk to friends are both great ways to boost your mood! Staying connected to friends throughout the year decreases feelings of loneliness and provides a sense of belonging.
5. Stick to Your New Schedule
Over the holidays, sticking to any schedule can be difficult! Following a routine each day helps set new patterns in your brain, allowing you to form new habits. The more you are able to stick to a routine, the less you will have to think about doing the things you want to accomplish – it will feel like second nature! Sticking to a routine can seem daunting at first, but once patterns are formed, habits are difficult to break. Plan out your new 2020 schedule to include time to de-clutter, unplug, stay active, and spend time with friends.