The holiday season is usually packed full of activities, social gatherings and large expectations. You may have gone on vacation, spent quality time with loved ones, had a break from responsibilities and distanced yourself from nagging work obligations. As you return home and get back to work, you may find yourself experiencing the post-holiday blues.
While the holidays can be enjoyable, it’s not uncommon for self-care routines like regularly exercising and healthy eating to take a backseat during these busy times. The most important ways to ward off the post-holiday blues include refocusing, hydrating, taking a break from technology, making some moves and saying no to over-committing yourself.
After the excitement of the holidays wears off, your body may crash. Take note of any feelings of exhaustion or fatigue, but try not to let these feelings discourage you from refocusing on your long-term health and wellness goals. It is normal to want some rest after all the festivities, but the sooner that you get back into your routine, the sooner you will begin feeling like yourself again.
Sometimes we feel sad or depressed because our subconscious recognizes that we have been neglecting our own self-care in favor of over-indulgence and temporary pleasure. Succumbing to feeling too tired can leave you feeling even worse! Strive to get the right amount of sleep every night, but resist the urge to hibernate. To prevent yourself from spiraling, take the time to refocus your mind and make a list of things you want to accomplish in the near-future.
When you are feeling low, it can be difficult to focus and hard to motivate yourself. Stress, depression and dehydration can all be experienced at the same time, but these conditions all feed off of each other. If you are feeling the post-holiday blues, then it is possible that your body needs to be re-hydrated.
During the holidays, individuals frequently splurge on caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks. Unfortunately, it can take up to three times the amount of water to re-hydrate yourself from such drinks. Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found that water can have a significant impact on boosting your mood, and even mild dehydration can affect your mood. Set a goal of drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day.
Take a Tech Break
Over the holidays, we can become ultra-connected to our loved ones. We find ourselves calling family, reaching out to friends and rekindling relationships that may have been neglected over the past year. After the festivities, you may find yourself caught up in this mindset. It is too easy to fall into the habit of over-stimulating our minds with information overload.
If you find yourself constantly refreshing Facebook or compulsively checking for new text messages, then it may be time to take a short break from social media and other technologies. Additionally, it can increase your post-holiday blues to compare all your friend’s Instagram perfect holiday season to your own. Even if it is only for an hour each day, take the time to disconnect and recharge.
Make Some Moves
Health care professionals recommend light exercise to help boost your overall mood, and they do so for good reason. Experts have identified numerous benefits of becoming more active, and research has proved than depression symptoms can be alleviated with more physical activity.
Routine exercise will produce mood enhancing endorphins and help you develop healthy coping skills. It can help redirect negative thoughts and even reduce your body’s overall perception of pain. You don’t have to create extremely strenuous routines. Recent studies have shown that as little as one hour of exercise a week creates a protective effect against negative feelings.
The holidays are busy. You have likely spent countless hours cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping presents, hosting company and attending parties. On top of your regular commitments, these tasks can become a little overwhelming. Some post-holiday anxiety may stem from a sudden gap in social obligations, but it is important to balance social obligations with self-care activities.
It’s likely you over-committed yourself socially over the holidays, so it is important to either get back into your regular routine or create a new routine for the New Year. Learn to say no, and don’t feel guilty for taking time to care for yourself!
After the holiday rush, you are likely to fall back into your regular routines which don’t give you the same amount of immediate pleasure or sense of achievement as holiday festivities do. Take the time to care for yourself, and you will be sure to conquer those post-holiday blues.