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We just finished celebrating the most wonderful time of the year, so why do so many of us feel burnt out and run down after a season of festivities? Sure, the holidays are full of excitement and good cheer, but the season is also a stressful and overwhelming time that can leave you feeling depleted instead of fulfilled. We tend to associate the holiday season with all things merry and bright, but in reality, the never-ending busyness, packed schedules and constant socializing can wreak havoc on our minds and bodies. How often do we ring in the new year with a nasty hangover, lingering cold or elevated stress levels? From hosting distant relatives to hunting down the perfect presents to decking the halls for your holiday get-together, it’s common to feel exhausted after the holidays.
Since the holidays are jam-packed with festivities, there isn’t a better time to practice self-care than after a season of too much eggnog and too little sleep. Incorporating self-care activities into your daily routine after the chaos of the holidays is an excellent way to manage your stress levels and restore your energy. It’s important to set aside necessary “me” time to unwind so that you can recover and recuperate from the past hectic month. Now that the holiday craziness has come to an end, these self-care practices will help you kick off the new year feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
If your mind is racing with a million different thoughts like the off-putting comment your aunt made at Christmas dinner or the new workout program you promised yourself you’d start on New Year’s, you can definitely benefit from some meditation. Setting aside a few minutes to quiet your mind and shift your attention to your breath can do wonders for your stress and anxiety levels. A guided meditation is great for anyone who’s terrified to be alone with their thoughts or who is new to the whole meditation thing. Follow a meditation session on YouTube or one from a meditation app, and you’ll feel calm, cool and collected in no time.
Gratitude seems to be the hot topic nowadays, and it’s for good reason. When you recall a handful of people, places, objects or experiences you’re thankful for, you’ll notice a huge boost in your happiness. Although you might have been infuriated that your mother-in-law decided to stay at your place over the holidays, instead of letting that situation ruin your mood, you can make a mental note that you’re thankful she made the trek to your home. By making this an everyday practice, you’ll train your brain to look for the good in your daily life.
Sipping on a piping hot cup of tea is certainly a great way to stay warm in the winter, but the benefits don’t stop there. The constant partying during the holidays can really take a toll on your body, so you may find yourself coming down with a cold or trying to prevent one. Drinking tea can help relieve a sore throat and stuffy nose, and it strengthens your immune system, which can help you ward off future illnesses. The warm temperature is also soothing and relaxing, so you’ll watch all of your troubles melt away.
We live in a technologically savvy world, so it’s no question that we’re dependent on our phones. The holiday season is a particular time of year when we’re glued to our devices. Whether you’re snapping pictures at your family get-together, checking Instagram to see what your friends are up to or continuously refreshing your inbox in case you missed an important email, phones can prevent us from living in the moment. Once the new year comes along, take a break from all the chatter on the internet by setting your phone to “Do Not Disturb,” putting your phone on airplane mode or turning it off entirely. A digital detox can limit distractions and a steady stream of notifications, so you'll be able to keep your stress levels down.
There’s something about spending time in the great outdoors and sunshine that’s so refreshing, but we tend to miss out on that valuable experience during the winter months. The cold weather tends to keep us cooped up inside, so we often resort to sitting down and staring at a screen. Staying put for a long period of time can make you feel even more tired and stressed than you already are, so bundle up, get your body moving and soak up the sun. Go for a brisk walk with your dog, shovel the driveway or arrange an ice skating outing with your friends to get those endorphins flowing.
Eating a healthy meal loaded with fruits and veggies is not only a great way to stick to your New Year’s resolution, but it’s also the perfect solution to recovering from a crazy holiday season. Your body will definitely crave all the vitamins and nutrients after indulging in hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies, but your mind will also benefit. Eating nutrient-dense food will give you a natural surge of energy, fight off sadness and promote better sleep.
You probably won’t have the funds to splurge on an expensive facial and massage, especially after a season full of giving (and spending), but you can totally zen out without breaking the bank. Access your inner calm in a more affordable and convenient way by setting up a DIY spa at home. Draw a warm bath, light a few candles, turn on soothing music and put on a face mask for a truly relaxing experience.
Published on 12/20/2019