THE POST-CHRISTMAS BLUES

christmas-recycling

Some people will argue that Christmas isn’t over until January 6th (and they have good historical back-up for doing so), but for me, Christmas is over when I’ve given out my last present, and fully over when I’ve eaten my last brussel sprout.

Even for the Grinchiest among us, I think there’s something saddening about the end of Christmas– all those trees with nothing beneath them, all that pre-Christmas excitement replaced by post-Christmas sales, and the lingering feeling that it’ll be ages before you have another one. (Even your birthday is ages away, if you’re a December baby.)

So, how do you beat those post-Christmas blues? Here are my top tips for putting the sads behind you and getting ready for the New Year!

1. Exercise. No, I’m not kidding. Christmas is a time of over-indulgence, and that means not being able to get into your pre-Christmas clothes for a while: a definite bummer right there. Exercise will not only help you shift those chocolate box chocolates and celebratory champagnes faster, it’ll also give you a much-needed boost of endorphins, which will lift your spirits and help take your mind off credit card bills and the prospect of un-decorating the house in a couple of days. It doesn’t have to be an intense session down the gym; a nice walk outdoors or a half-hour doing free-weights or using an exercise bike at home works, too.

 

2. Sleep. Christmas is often a whirlwind of social activity, but it’s important not to let sleep fall by the way-side while it’s all going on. One or two late nights and early starts won’t kill you… But in my experience, three is pushing it. Your mood and skin will suffer, and nobody wants to be crabby and spotty at New Year’s parties.Β  Sleep is restorative, to both the brain and the body, so it will do your skin a world of good while also making you feel better and happier. Be careful not to overdo it, though; like vitamins, it is absolutely possible to have too much of a good thing, and too much sleep will leave you feeling groggy and lazy, disinclined to do anything.

 

3. Sort through your presents. I like to keep all my Christmas presents in a big pile for a week or so afterwards. I know that sounds silly, but looking at them makes me smile, and it’s fun to go through them and think about how you might use them in the future. It also helps me feel happy to have them, and reminds me to be grateful for the people I have in my life who care about me enough to buy me nice things.

 

4. Write thank-yous. It doesn’t have to be letters– I know Miss Manners says it does, but to me that notion is out-dated and silly. If you prefer to write letters or you know the recipient prefers them, then by all means break out the good ink and stationery, but the idea that “everyone” loves to receive a letter is bunk. I’d certainly prefer a text message or email, because I get nothing from knowing I’ve put the person out the price of the stamp and the trip to the post office. It’s the words that matter, not how you send them.

Whatever delivery method you choose, it’s nice to write out a thank-you for the person’s thoughtfulness, to tell them how much you appreciate it (even if you’re already planning to re-gift it, at least that’s one less present to buy next year!), and to wish them a Happy New Year. It’ll remind you what lovely pressies you got, and it’ll also make someone else smile, so it’s win-win!

 

5. Plan out a strategy for achieving your New Year’s resolutions. It doesn’t have to be self-recrimination, but start thinking about what you didn’t get around to doing this year. Didn’t get your novel finished? Didn’t lose those extra few pounds? Watched too many hours of television you didn’t really enjoy? It helps to frame these things as opportunities: as things you can achieve next year, rather than things you failed at this year… But it can be helpful to identify why you didn’t achieve them this year.

Didn’t spend enough time writing? Didn’t prioritize exercise? Left the TV on in the background while you were trying to do other things and let yourself be sucked in and distracted? Identify traps and triggers that tripped you up on the way to your goals this year, then plan out concrete strategies for avoiding them next year. Rather than big, unachievable ideas (“I will only watch three hours of TV a week!”) or abstract, weak notions (“I will make more time to write each week”), come up with small, concrete solutions which you can achieve, and which will train your brain into accepting them as a habit.

Things like “I will write at least 200 words every day”, for example, or “I’ll take the stairs home every day I’m not carrying groceries” or even “I will only watch TV shows I’m really excited to see” are more readily achieved than goals that are too broad or too vague, and repeated achievement breeds habit. Habit is how we get ourselves into these messes (eating more chocolates than we need to, watching TV instead of working, saying “I’ll do that later”, etc.), and habit is how we will get ourselves out.

Those are my top tips for bridging the gap between Christmas and New Year– what are yours? Are you looking forward to the New Year, or are you still set to Christmas Mode in your brain? What did you get this year that you’re especially excited about? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

5 Comments

  1. Posted December 29, 2014 at 04:09 | Permalink | Reply

    For me, its always holiday time with the family. Cooking, cleaning and organizing whike doing a mental countdown to the new year’s

    • Posted December 29, 2014 at 04:12 | Permalink | Reply

      Are you looking forward to the new year? I don’t have anything exciting planned for the night, but I’m still looking forward to it! πŸ™‚

      • Posted December 29, 2014 at 04:16 | Permalink | Reply

        Home too … Same daily routine

        • Posted December 29, 2014 at 04:32 | Permalink | Reply

          A party’s in your head if you make one! I’m far too lazy to go out on NYE– everywhere’s jam-packed, so even getting home at the end of the night is a difficulty. I vastly prefer chilling out with a nice glass of champagne and watching something good on the TV…

  2. Posted December 29, 2014 at 04:33 | Permalink | Reply

    I got little ones , so my night will be the same as always 😊
    All i care about is sleep .. Lol

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