How to Fight Post-Holiday Stress
Imagine the tranquility of early Christmas morning. All the shopping has been done and the party planning carried out, and the images from the festivities the night before still linger in your mind.
That moment when we see our family opening their presents is what defines our holidays. That one day out of every year when we pause to breathe in the joy of Christmas. But what comes after our brief respite?
Do we merrily slip back into the business of everyday living? For many of us, the answer is not a simple yes.
Christmas celebrations may not readily ease us back into reality. Episodes of tension and excitement during the season can leave us exhausted, but nothing ruins our holiday cheer more than post-holiday stress. Plunging immediately back into work can prove even more daunting than preparing for this season of festivities. Before returning to your old routine, here are four easy steps to help keep the stress of everyday life at bay, and make the holiday cheer last well into the New Year.
1. Plan Anew
Spending time away from the workplace during the Christmas season is simply a way for your mind and body to rejuvenate – to become better prepared in taking on the challenges of the New Year.
Rather than seeing a divide between the holidays and your back-to-work routine, look at your Christmas break as a time to get ahead. Incorporate new activities into your schedule. Set new goals. Even create new routines. These will not only help you gear up for your return; they will also make your work life more interesting.
2. Savor Quiet Moments
While the Christmas season may afford you the time to go on that much needed holiday trip, the fatigue of extensive travel over a short period of time can actually take a toll on your mood.
As the holiday season is winding down, you can keep stress levels down by spending quiet afternoons and evenings with friends and family. These may not be as grand as the other events of the season or going on a vacation to a faraway destination, but sitting down and enjoying a light-hearted conversation with your loved ones can help you appreciate the joy in the simplicity of everyday life. These moments will help you ease back into your old routine.
3. Come up with a Personal Year-End Review
Perhaps this happy interval in life has allowed you to pause and examine what has happened to you in the past twelve months.
Instead of growing anxious over what the post-holiday vibe could be, use your free time to look back and learn lessons you may have missed while in the middle of life’s little exigencies.
List the highlights and lowlights of your year; make a point of remembering the good and the bad. Coming up with this list will help you gauge your response to situations in the year ahead.
Much of our anxiety over the future stems from unresolved issues from the past.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Even before we step out, many of us already have an idea of the amount of work we will be returning to at the end of the holiday season. Many of us are faced with piles of paperwork, emails, reports, as well as a string of meetings to get us up to speed. But worrying about these too much might not do us any good.
Looking after your health is more important than accomplishing any of these tasks. Set enough time for your mind and body to calm down and rejuvenate. After savoring the many pleasures of Christmas, it is equally important to detoxify: eat healthier, exercise, and get enough rest.