By Golda Smith
Halloween marks the starting gun of a whirlwind of activity that reaches its climax when the ball drops to usher in the new year. For many people, the holiday season is also full of expectations, the pressure to confirm and overconsume all of which can lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety leaving people for way to beat those post-holiday blues. Yes, those eight weeks are packed with excitement, parties, presents, hopes, and expectations of newness!
Then we come off the sugar high, friends and family return to their homes or you return to your home, the parties are over and it is time to plan and look forward to reaching new goals. While the holidays are often a time for record levels of people going through depression, the numbers remain elevated after the holiday season as well. What I would like to offer you today are some tips to help you beat the post-holiday blues.
Commit to a Fast
Think about it, for the approximately eight weeks leading up to the end of the year you have been indulging more than usual and for many people, they simply jump off their normal eating and exercise plan and promise to return after the holiday season. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to reboot your system by committing to a fast. The key is finding the fast that best suits you. Many churches follow the Daniel Plan, some people fast from all animal products, some fast from sun up until sun down and other fast from all processed sugars. It can be as short as three days or twenty-one days or longer. These are just a couple of suggestions and while we are at the end of January, it is never too late for you to reboot and commit to a fast if you feel it will help you.
My second tip is to declutter your space. Ever since I was a little girl one thing I remember is how my mother cleaned our home like a mad woman during the last week of the year. She always stressed that we could not enter the new year with clutter. Although she is no longer with us, that is one of the things I still do. I went through the attic and every closet to purge what no longer fit or what we no longer wanted. When I was done, I had given a bag of clothes to a neighbor and another two big garbage bags with items that were donated to a church. What are you holding onto that is no longer serving you and who can you bless with it? If you want to receive more, then create the space to do so by clearing the clutter.
Create your Action Plan
Vision board parties are all the rave at the end and beginning of the year. However, have you ever created this beautiful board only to stick it in a corner and forget about it until you are cleaning up your space months later? Or have you ever created a vision board but then become paralyzed because you have no idea how to even begin to go after those items? This is where the action board comes in. The action board forces you to pick those few items that you commit to accomplishing within the next twelve months. It takes the items on your vision board, which could easily take one or ten years to accomplish and chunks it down into the immediate future (the next twelve months). For example, your vision is to release 30 pounds, on your action board is your registration in a half marathon in the fall. Once I understood the difference between the two, it was like a light bulb went off and brought clarity to everything.
Routines, routines, routines! When the holidays hit, people tend to use them as an excuse to get off their routines. They stop going to the gym, don’t bother to meal plan or prep, home-based business has taken a back seat and people just coast. It’s time to hit reset and get back into the habit or create the new habits that support productivity and move you closer to your goals. Routines build structure and that is a good thing. Pull out those calendars, set some alarms. I have five alarms scheduled on my phone to let me know when to eat. I also have my phone set to do not disturb once ten o’clock pm hits. What structures do you need to create in your life?
There you have it and before you say anything…this is by no means an exhaustive list. As a matter of fact, I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too many things because when you have too many choices that can be paralyzing. So, if you are feeling the post-holiday blues, start with at least one or two of these items and bring the glow and joy back to your life.
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