The holiday season can be filled with excitement, thanks to all the gatherings with loved ones, presents, tasty food and celebrations. But like all good things, it comes to an end and that leaves a lot of people feeling down. It’s like having a “holiday hangover” after weeks of fun and it can make getting back to your normal routine tough.
Fortunately, experts say there are things you can do to cope with that anxiety and bummed out feeling. Here’s how to pick yourself up and shake the post-holiday blues.
- Get your routine back on track - It’s totally normal to pause your workout routine and healthy eating plan during the holidays, but psychologist Paulette Braha recommends returning to it as soon as possible since exercise can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Taking care of your body and fueling it with nutritious food, as well as getting good sleep, will go a long way to helping you feel better.
- Stay organized - The holidays can be hectic and if you feel like you need to take some control back in the new year, planners, lists and schedules can help you do it. “This helps to focus the mind and keep us goal oriented in the tasks we perform in our lives,” Braha explains.
- Don’t set unrealistic goals - Many folks make New Year’s resolutions, but sometimes they’re too ambitious and the goals aren’t realistic. That can leave you feeling inadequate or frustrated if you don’t achieve them, so stick with achievable goals that will help you stay motivated.
- Live in the present - It’s natural to reflect on the past or plan for the future as the new year begins but experts say it’s better to try to “live in the present” to help you realize how much control you actually have over your life. Focusing on your five senses - being mindful of what you’re hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting can help you stay in the present.
- Get outside and off social media - If you found yourself scrolling through social media more during the holidays you’re not alone, but it’s not doing you any favors. It’s easy to compare yourself to the over-the-top gifts and holiday celebrations others post, which can leave you feeling insecure or anxious. That’s why taking a break from social media can be good for mental health and if you get outside for some fresh air and sunshine when you do it? Even better!
- Don’t be afraid to cancel events - Embrace the power of saying no if you start to feel overwhelmed and burned out. It’s okay to turn down invitations and social events when you need some down time.