Here are some ways to combat post-holiday blues

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by Ma. Rachel Yapchiongco as originally posted at “Beat the post-holiday blues”,Here are some ways to combat post-holiday blues Philippine Online Chronicles

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The holidays are over … it’s time to face reality.  All the presents under the tree have been opened; holiday photos have been uploaded; no more gorging on delicious food except for a few leftovers; and no more Christmas get-togethers and parties to attend.

Students are back in school, employees have returned to work and business people have resumed operations.

It’s not a surprise that some people feel down after the holidays. Leaving all the merry activities behind to go back to the daily grind is not exactly a jump-for-joy mental picture.

Are you still longing for those cheerful and carefree days of socializing, shopping, gift giving, traveling, feasting, and spending time with people close to you? No matter how great a holiday is, there is always an end. Cherish those happy moments but don’t let them prevent you from returning to your usual routine. The more you mope about it, the more susceptible you are to stress. You don’t want to start the brand new year with negative feelings. Here are some ways to combat post-holiday blues.

Stay connected with people dear to you. Christmas season is an opportunity to spend quality time with people who mean most to you. When the holidays are over, don’t let distance or busy schedules hinder you from holding on to the bond that you renewed during the Christmas break.

Take advantage of today’s modern technology to stay connected. Keep in touch through phone calls, text messages and emails.

You don’t have to wait until Christmas to have another get together especially if you live in the same or nearby cities. Set up a quarterly get together or if possible, do it more frequently.

Start eating well again. Feeling sluggish? All those parties and potluck dinners may have taken their toll on your body. During the holidays, you may have been guilty of over indulging in fatty foods and sweet desserts. It’s time to bounce back after the holiday food coma.

Skipping meals and going on a drastic diet are not solutions. In fact, they may do more harm than good. The best game plan is to think of your next healthy meal and work your way up from there.

Avoid fatty and salty foods. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Say no to junk food and soda. Make sure that you choose lean meat and take it easy on the sauces and gravies. You don’t have to deprive yourself of dessert but lessen it.

Get back in shape. Have you suddenly noticed that your old pair of jeans doesn’t feel as comfortable as before? Do you have to struggle to button it on? Well, don’t be surprised if you gained weight after all that holiday binging. You’re not alone. A lot of people have weight issues after a long holiday.

Instead of regretting eating all that delicious food, why not begin the year with a new exercise routine or simply resume your daily fitness activities? Put on your walking shoes again, do yoga, hit the gym, or sway to the music and follow the moves of your Zumba instructor. You’re free to choose your form of exercise.

You probably have some holiday leftovers inside the refrigerator. Don’t waste all the effort of exercising by binging again. You often hear the line, “drink moderately”. If you want to lose that holiday weight, why not apply the saying to food as well?

Better yet, ask a friend to exercise with you. Plan a work out that you can do together. You can encourage one another to exercise as often as you can to get back to shape.

Give yourself time to ease back to your usual routine. Reality can be a little harsh after a period of relaxation and fun. When traveling, it is best to give yourself time to settle back when you arrive home. The body and mind need time and space to return to normal routine especially if it means resuming a hectic work schedule.

If you arrive at night and you are expected to report to work the next morning, your mind and body might find it hard to adjust within a short period. Give yourself at least one full day of rest before going back to work or facing chores.

You can also pamper yourself by getting a massage or having your nails done to ease the transition.

Cope with jet lag. Traveling overseas is fun and exciting but jet lag can be a bummer. Jet lag is a possible reason behind your post-holiday blues. Some symptoms include feeling sleepy during daytime, difficulty sleeping at night, lack of coordination, and loss of appetite.

A good way to deal with jet lag is by helping your body adjust to the local schedule. Medicine.net suggests that if you arrive at noon local time (but it’s early in the morning where you came from), resist the urge of having breakfast and proceed with lunch. Get a lot of sunshine during the day by going outdoors. According to experts, sunlight signals the hypothalamus to lower down the “production of sleep-inducing melatonin during the day,” which launches the course of resetting your internal clock. It is also advisable to do the same with children and infants. When traveling east, you lose time so try to keep the child awake until local bedtime. On the other hand, if you are traveling west, you gain time, so wake your child at the local time.

Listen to soothing music. Huffington Post suggests that music is capable of stimulating the senses and lifting your spirits. According to a neuroscientist named Daniel J. Levitin, “music enhances certain pathways in the brain that are essential to cognitive and emotional health.”

The de-stressing benefit of music reduces prevalence of stress and burnout. Listening to soothing tunes can become a simple wellness activity.

Dwell on the positive. It feels good to relive happy memories of your holiday. Focus on the positive by doing something creative such as starting a journal. It’s a brand new year and it’s a perfect opportunity to start one. You can also write thank you notes to people who made your holiday special. If you are artistically inclined, consider sketching or painting a favorite scene during your holiday as a keepsake worth cherishing.

 

 

Photo c/o Pixabay. Public domain.
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Rachel Yapchiongco, also known as Rach to her friends, is a Psychology and Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University. Rachel is a mom to a charming boy and married to an entrepreneur who has a passion for cooking. She shares parenting experiences and slices of everyday life on her personal blog called Heart of Rachel.

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