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Conquering the Post-Holiday Blues:

Self-Care Tips to Lift your mood and Motivate you


After all the hustle and bustle and stress of the Holiday Season, starting with Thanksgiving through Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanza, it feels like the fun parts are over in the blink of an eye. The last hurrah of New Year’s Celebrations has just passed, and with it all said and done, some of us will start feeling the post-holiday blues, maybe you already have.



The post-holiday blues are real, but perhaps you never realized the full scope of feelings attached to it.  Once the adrenaline of the holiday season begins to slow down, you may suffer from feelings of:


  • Anxiousness

  • Depression

  • Irritability 

  • Moodiness

You may also experience:


  • Heightened levels of stress or worry

  • Exhaustion from insomnia

  • Lack of motivation


Here are a few tips to help get you through the POST-HOLIDAY blues, find some calm, lift your mood, and motivate you now through the rest of winter.

Take a break: 

As the saying goes, “You can’t fill from an empty cup.” Everyone needs to take a break now and again before their body forces them to break from exhaustion.  Depending on your responsibilities, taking time off or having a whole day to yourself may be difficult, but short breaks in a busy schedule will still be beneficial. Set aside some time in the evenings or morning or make sure to take your lunch break. Self-care needs to be a priority in order to stay physically and mentally healthy.  

 

Get some rest & relaxation: 

Rest and relaxation can look different for you than for the next person. It could be practicing meditation or yoga, perhaps a walk out in nature, all of which we will review the benefits of shortly. However, R&R can also look like getting cozy and reading a good book while having a cup of hot tea, working on a puzzle, or maybe even trying a hand at coloring or crafting. It’s all about what you find relaxing, so pick something that will work best for you and carve out a little time in your busy schedule.

 

Meditation or Breathwork: 

Incorporating meditation into your daily routine can be an excellent practice; it offers a range of benefits, from stress reduction to improved sleep and focus, to name a few.  If you are new to meditation, find a few moments for mini-meditation breaks of three to five minutes or breathwork exercises. Whether practicing at home, at your desk in the office, or during a quiet moment in your car, these breaks can reset your nervous system and enhance your overall sense of calm.

An easy exercise to start with is 5-7-7 breathing for two minutes.  Breathe it to a count of 5, hold for a count of 7, and exhale to a count of 7. Repeating the steps 10 times or for two minutes can help tremendously.

 

Yoga:  

Incorporate a short daily yoga routine into your schedule. Choose poses that alleviate the feelings of depression, anxiety, or stress. A few examples are Child's Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Forward Fold, or Legs Up The Wall.

As little as 10-15 minutes of yoga can significantly impact your overall well-being. If you're not sure where to start, search for Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga practices.

 

 

Nature therapy: 

Spending time in nature contributes to your mental and physical well-being by helping to improve brain function, focus, and creativity, plus helping you get a better night's sleep. There are also some additional benefits to spending time outdoors in the colder months, which may be surprising.

If you’re feeling the physical side effects of all the holiday treats and celebratory meals and drinks, spending time outside can help you burn 34% more calories when walking or hiking in the cold. Also, your basal metabolic rate increases -  this is the number of calories you burn as you perform basic bodily functions.

Time outside can help lessen the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition characterized by a period of depression during the winter months.

Don't let the cold weather stop you. Throw on some layers to stay warm and get outdoors!

 

Volunteer: 

Find a local organization whose mission matters to you. It could be a local food pantry, health care facility, or perhaps an animal rescue or shelter.  Volunteering your time can help combat the blues by giving you an enhanced sense of purpose, increasing life satisfaction and confidence levels, uplifting your mood, and boosting your social connections.

If you can't volunteer on-site somewhere and you are an animal lover, consider fostering an animal; there are many shelters and rescues at capacity and in need of volunteers.

Conclusion:

As you start the new year, make a conscious effort to weave some or some of these self-care practices into your daily routine. Embracing these practices can help you navigate the post-holiday season blues with a calm and centered mind, fostering a sense of well-being, lifting your mood, and renewing your energy and motivation that extends well beyond the end of the holiday season and into the rest of your self-care journey.


Wishing you the best on your mindfulness journey in 2024!


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