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For many, the holidays are "the most wonderful time of the year." We love the hustle and bustle of the season, spending time with loved ones, and all of the little indulgences that come with holiday celebrations. However, there comes a time when it all must end. After the gifts are unwrapped, the candy and cookies are gone, and it's time to take down the tree, post-holiday depression can start to set in.
It's really no surprise. After weeks of reveling in joy and cheer, the prospect of transitioning back to reality certainly isn't appealing. With the specter of returning to work or school, paying off bills, and trying to get rid of those extra holiday pounds hanging over our heads, it's no wonder we feel let down.
Just as the key to beating post-vacation blues lies in having something exciting to do when you return, you can combat that after-holiday slump by focusing on the exciting opportunities of a New Year. Here are some tips to help you get started.
If you're like most people, you probably ate a bit more and exercised less over the holidays. Re-establishing healthy eating habits and making it a point to get moving will make you feel better physically and give your mind a new focus. Just make sure you go into it with the right mindset. Rather than punishing yourself for your transgressions over the holidays, focus on appreciating your body for all the wonderful things it can do.
Going back to work or school after an extended break can trigger feelings of depression, especially if you normally push yourself too hard. Take this opportunity to re-evaluate your priorities. Look for ways to lighten up your schedule and bring more balance into your life.
The first few days after an extended vacation are always the hardest. You can make the transition easier by getting back into a routine right away. This is especially important if you have kids. Make sure everyone goes to bed on time and cut down on morning stress by choosing outfits, packing lunches, and preparing backpacks the night before.
Most of us overspend at least a little bit during the holidays. Now that you're getting back to reality, it's important to reign in those spending habits and start sticking to a budget once again. If you used your credit cards over the holidays, come up with a plan to free yourself from those debts as soon as possible.
The New Year is here, making now the perfect time to set some healthy new goals. Whether it's dropping a bad habit or taking up a good one, making at least one resolution will give you a sense of purpose and help you look forward to the days ahead.
Although "normal life" may not be as exciting as the holidays, there's no reason to put the cheer away until next year. Remember that each new day brings the promise of new opportunities. Make it a point to appreciate the small things in life and find reasons to be grateful and happy each and every day. This will help you carry a bit of that holiday joy with you all year long.