Post-Christmas Blues : How to transition back into work and life
by Teresa Xuereb
Excitement runs high in the days leading to Christmas and New Year. We have parties to attend and celebrations to partake in. In the blink of an eye, the holidays are over, the vibrant decorations are back in their boxes, streets are turned to dark mode, gifts have all been handed out, and we're back to work, grumpier than ever and trying to sort out our to-do lists. While floating aimlessly through the first week of the year, suffering from mental distress after the festive season is a common phenomenon. Your financial status may be in a mess, social activities down to zero, and the numbers on your scales higher than expected.
Don't let the post-Christmas blues get the best of you! These quick tips will ease the transition and transform the void you're feeling into a fulfilling reality.
1. Retain the Christmas spirit
Why stop being benevolent after Christmas? Doing good deeds shouldn't have a timeframe and should remain constant throughout the year. Visiting lonesome relatives or donating unwanted clothes doesn't take much time, and everyone stands to benefit from selfless acts of goodwill.
2. Add fun to every single day
Make the most of each day. Laugh a lot, be positive, treat yourself, and life becomes more animated. Add fun activities to your calendar and transform each day into an exciting and intriguing occasion.
3. Work on your 2020 goals
Ok, so you haven't bought your gym subscription yet. It's not a big deal. Take each new day as an opportunity to start working on your resolutions. You most definitely don't need to wait for 2021 to start working on a better you, and now's the best time to step out of your comfort zone.
Do embrace realistic expectations. If you're too harsh on yourself, it will only be an uphill battle. Small daily tasks will give you a sense of fulfilment and a more effective perspective, which will in turn help you tackle the post-holiday blues.
4. Stay busy
Strive to be as productive as possible (both at work and at home) to avoid ruminating on the fun you had during the holidays.
5. Be social
It's cold and windy outside but this is no excuse to sprawl on your sofa and lock yourself inside. Reduce your time on social media and make plans! Meet up with friends or join a club to start meeting new people. If you keep your calendar busy, you'll find yourself dwelling less on negative thoughts.
6. Reduce your alcohol intake
Mulled wine and whiskey might have been your favourite drinks during the festive season, but it's time to put the bottles aside. We don't want your mind to think it needs alcohol to have fun.
7. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Lounging on your bed and stuffing your face with junk food won't lift up your spirits. What's the way forward?
Get at least 8 hours of sleep to gain enough energy for each new day.
Your physical and emotional well-being are closely knit together. Whether it's going to the gym or going for a 30-minute walk, exercising will boost your mood and reduce stress.
- Eat healthy
Adopt a balanced diet: say goodbye to fatty indulgences and hello to nutritious food. Digesting the right nutrients will ensure you have enough energy to sustain you throughout the day, so make sure you stock up your kitchen with foods rich in vitamin B (such as whole-grains and nuts) and Omega 3 (commonly found in fish). Healthy food items will lift up your spirits and simultaneously improve your fitness levels.
- Stay hydrated
8. Incorporate warmth into your home
When you take down the tree, you are removing a quintessential part of Christmas from your living space and your home starts looking very bleak. Set your creativity free and add bright cushions, throw-overs, curtains and candles around your home to transform it into a cosy abode. The warmer your home is, the lower the probability you'll feel the Christmas blues.
9. Book a holiday
What better way to fight your post-Christmas blues than to plan your next vacation? The anticipation of a holiday can evoke the same happiness as the happiness you feel during the activity itself, so a trip will give you something to look forward to.
10. Sort out your finances
Yes, it may be hard coming to terms with how much you spent in the last couple of weeks, but you need to face your current financial status now. Pay any outstanding bills you have and set a fresh budget for the coming month and for the whole new year.
11. Be forward-looking
Going back to work already sounds as if you're diving back into the past. Now's the perfect time to turn things around and endorse new habits. December might have been crazy but now you can think more clearly on how to develop your personality and your career. How?
- Undertake an intriguing project: Plan on buying a new car, getting your bike license, renovating the house, or even a simple weekend getaway; having something to look forward to is quintessential.
- Pursue a hobby: Whether it's an activity you've been dreaming of starting, or one you've started in the past and discontinued, pursuing a hobby will lift up your spirits.
12. Be grateful
Why dwell on negative thoughts when there are so many positive things to be grateful for in life?
13. Get organised
If you've been out with family and friends during the holidays, your house is probably in shambles. Get organised now! Go through your gifts, decide what you want to keep and donate unwanted items to the needy. When you've gotten rid of all the extra stuff, embark on a cleaning marathon. A clean and organised house means a clear mind.
Do kids suffer from post-holiday syndrome as well?
Yes, they do! How can you help your kids feel better when the holidays are over and they're back to school?
- Observe your kids' behaviour to pinpoint any unusual actions
- Listen to your kids and empathise with them, rather than just dismissing their emotions
- Spend time together doing fun activities which will uplift their spirit and get them up on their feet
- Maintain a structured routine incorporating sleeping, eating, working and playing times
- Come up with new traditions throughout the year, not just during Christmas
- Control sugar intake and cook nutritious dishes together
- Include physical activities in their calendar
Kick of 2020 with the right frame of mind and obliterate post-Christmas blues once and for all. It's important to realise that you can find happiness each and every day, and once you achieve this, you can enjoy life to its fullest and motivate those around you as well.
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