So, the holidays have officially come and gone, which means the nonstop barrage of social obligations, family time, and emotional baggage that often accompanies this time of year are finally slowing down. And yet, you find yourself feeling more than a little blah for some reason. Now, while I personally find the holiday season difficult, I find that the letdown from all that heightened excitement is just as, if not more, emotionally taxing, as it often throws me into a post-holiday slump that I just plain didn't see coming.
If you're feeling this way too, take some solace in the fact that you and I are most certainly not alone in this. Holiday and post-holiday blues are a real thing. In fact, even post-vacation blues are a thing. These are all similarly described as a kind of "back to reality" sensation, where you realize that everything you put to the side during the buzz or strain of the holidays or time off is kind of, you know, still there. So whether you enjoy the holidays or not, these blasé feelings do certainly take up a whole lot of space for a while there.
If you're having some trouble getting back into the daily grind, fret not. Consider incorporating a few of these little things into your daily routine for the next couple weeks to ease the transition back into your everyday life. Trust me, we'll all get through this.
Simple, right? Well, if you're prone to feeling down during the winter months after the holiday peak has passed, you might also be prone to letting that negativity keep you inside all the time.
Get some fresh air, and get your blood moving, because both of these things will help you fend off some of those stagnant sensations. The sun is necessary for you to keep making vitamin D, which helps you make serotonin, which makes you feel happy! Plus, continuing to make vitamin D and serotonin in the winter actually affects you for months to come after the fact.
So bundle up in your coziest sweater, and take some time to exercise outside, even if it's just a walk around the block, or consider offering your services to shovel the sidewalk when a bad snow storm passes through.
Sit down, and just breathe. Keep your eyes open or closed — whatever feels good for you. Listen to a guided meditation. Take a walk with some calming music. Whatever form your meditation takes, give yourself at least five minutes every day that focuses on the intention of getting centered and clearing your mind.
Meditation is proven to reduce stress, and in my experience, it really helps make room for a little space to allow for my perspective to shift and grow.
I know that when I'm feeling "blah," I tend to have less (or literally no) motivation when it comes to my meals. I'll often forget to eat a full meal, or I won't have the energy to plan them out at all, and then I end up just kind of snacking and grazing on whatever weird combination of foods that I have lying around the house, and that don't require actual cooking or preparation on my part (read: tortilla chips and almond butter all day, every day).
But the relationship between nutrition and your moods and mental well-being is no joke. Personally, skimping on meals not only dampens my mood, it also makes me feel like I'm not taking care of myself on a basic level.
So, as hard as it may seem at first, challenge yourself to put in a little time for your meals. I've been taking hints from my Food Mood Girl cookbook, making easy recipes that I know are full of ingredients that support me from the inside out. And I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that the internet is a wealth of information food-wise. Explore, and whip up something special for yourself!
Losing sight of the importance of enjoying yourself and having a bit of fun, has actually been linked to both criminality and deadened creativity. Look, I'm not saying you're doomed forever in life if you don't prioritize the concept of having fun, but it really is important for your mental health, y'all — really, really important.
Set aside time each week, or even each day, to do something you consider fun: Go ice skating with a friend who will absolutely need you to hold their hand; do a double-feature movie theater day; take a weekly sketching class; go out dancing while wearing something you feel cool as hell in.
Let us not forget, people, that sex, or even just generally having orgasms, releases endorphins, and studies show that having sex can actually lower your blood pressure and improve your body's responses to stress. While that particular study is about P-in-V sex, the benefits of getting it on do not, by any means, stop there.
So whether you've got yourself a partner, or you're flying solo with a few toys you got yourself for the holidays, prioritize your sexy time and make it all about boosting your mood and letting go of unwanted stress.
I mean, we've all been onboard with the global emergence of hygge, right? Who can say no to the idea of prioritizing relaxation and coziness?
For example, to put this into practice, instead of lamenting about how your post-holiday hermit tendencies make you lame, make your private time and personal space into a center for relaxation and good vibes. Light some candles, read all the books, and enjoy, my friend.
Try to battle your post-holiday blues by going next-level with your self-care game — especially since it's easy to neglect you during all that family and friend time while celebrating the holidays.
Wear those masks you got as stocking stuffers this year. Take time to moisturize your entire body. Drink more water. Wake up every day with a stretching routine ready to go. Get your nails did. Get a cheap massage. Drink tea. Rub on some essential oils. Take a weekend nap. Seriously, just do you, in the simplest, and most feel-good ways possible.
Whether you take a train out into the middle of nowhere for a long, daytime hike, or you simply get yourself to your local park, go somewhere where you can hug a freakin' tree. It will give you something to look forward to, and for real, nature has a way of improving your whole outlook on life.
And remember guys, just like we got through 2017, we're going to get through this, too. You've got this!