Winding Down After the Holidays
Time to reset, relax, and refresh your mind & body!
While the holiday season is a time many of us look forward to filled with happiness, family, and friends, it’s also very overwhelming and stressful. Between family gatherings, work parties, present buying, and house decorating there’s a lot on our plates with not a lot of time to get it all done, so even though we may look forward to the holidays, it’s also nice to finally be able to relax and take a breather once they’re over. However, with the end of the holiday season comes the beginning of a new year; a time where ambitions and standards are flourishing, and worries of getting everything accomplished are skyrocketing. The truth is you don’t have to work yourself into the ground to start your new year off the right way. It’s important to give yourself time to relax before jumping into a new adventure, otherwise you’ll wear yourself out. If you’re in desperate need of taking a breather and getting yourself back on track now that the holiday season is over, here are tips for Winding Down After the Holidays.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
The amount of benefits reaped from exercising is overwhelming! Exercise is considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, reducing stress, improving concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function. Endorphins produced from physical activity act as natural painkillers, and will leave you feeling re-energized and ready to take on the world. Go for a jog, do some yoga, or punch a bag at the gym and feel the weight of the holiday stress being lifted off your shoulders.
Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers, and they provide your body with a natural method of de-stressing without breaking the bank. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and even breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins, leaving you feeling healthy and energized all day long.
Dedicating a period of time each day to write will help clear your mind, allowing you to think more clearly and better react to situations. Keep a journal to gather your thoughts, write lists to help you stay organized, or write a letter to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. No matter which route you choose, the more words you get onto paper, the less words you’ll have clouding your mind – the perfect recipe for de-stressing.
If you’re a bookworm you know how satisfying it is to get lost in a good book. Becoming invested in the lives you’re reading about helps to forget about reality and the stress that comes along with it. Grab your favorite novel, magazine, online blog, or anything you can get your hands on, make a big mug of tea, and allow yourself to lose track of time.
We all know how relaxing a spa day is, so who wouldn’t treat themselves to one in order to experience full bliss after months of holiday stress? Take a trip to your local spa for the works – a manicure, pedicure, massage, and facial. If you’d like to experience the same effects but for a cheaper price, buy or make your own facemask, drop a bath bomb in your tub, and spend the day soaking in bubbles with candles lit and music playing.
Let Go of Things You Don’t Need
Leave your hoarding days behind and start with a clean slate! Go through every inch of your house – your closets, under your bed, and even venture into the depths of your kitchen cabinets. If you find things you no longer need, or things you didn’t even remember you had, donate them. Seeing clutter, or even knowing that closed doors and cabinets are hiding vessels of disorganization will stress you out and sabotage your ability to relax.
It’s hard to feel comfortable and at ease when you’re constantly surrounded by messy clutter. Use the start of the New Year as an opportunity to get things on track and organized. Start small, like organizing your dresser drawers, and then move onto bigger tasks, such as your attic or basement. If you try to tackle too many things at once you’ll feel even more overwhelmed than you did before you started. Organizing things little by little will help you to be more productive, starting the New Year off on the right foot.
Don’t let old compulsive-shopping habits follow you into the New Year. Whenever you find you’re about to purchase something, take the time to sit and think about whether you really need it. Will you really wear it or use it? Is it something that you need, or just something you want? Of course we all have the right to spoil ourselves every now and then, but engaging in this thinking process when you’re shopping will help you purchase less, which means more money in your pocket and less stress in your life.
It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet, and organizational tips are never scarce. Check out sites such as Pinterest for tons of DIY organization tips, products, and ways to de-clutter your house that you would have never thought of. Everyday household products can be turned into a simple organizational tool that you would have never thought of, but soon won’t be able to live without!
Take a Mental Health Day (Or Week!)
The best way to wind down after the holidays is to give yourself time to relax – you deserve it! Treat yourself to some lazy days consisting of lounging in your pajamas, binge watching Netflix, and eating a whole pizza pie to yourself. Immediately bombarding yourself with new tasks and responsibilities after a stressful holiday season will drain you, and it might even set you back a few steps. Ensuring that your body and mind are well rested will result in you being on the top of your game once jumping back into reality.
Write a List of Goals
Make a list of what you want to accomplish with a desired due date for each. According to studies, those who write down their goals accomplish significantly more than those who don’t, and having clear visions of where you’d like to end up makes it easier to figure out which paths you should be taking. The end of the holiday season means the start of a new year, and the possibilities of what can be accomplished are endless.
Make a Plan
The easiest way to ensure that the stress you felt during the holidays doesn’t creep back up at you is to create plans for yourself. Whether it be a plan that will help you accomplish your goals, or something smaller such as a plan for your day and what you have to get done, planning will keep you organized and will help ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Although we all allow ourselves free passes to pig out on sweets when it comes to the holidays, it’s important to get your diet back on track to ensure you stay healthy and in your best shape. You can try a number of different strategies; such as only allowing yourself dessert twice a week, or giving yourself one cheat meal per day. You don’t have to do a complete 180 and never touch another sugary food in your life again – take everything in small strides. As long as you’re consciously attempting to eat better you’ll quickly start to feel better, and you’ll soon find that box of cookies in your cabinet less appealing.