We often hear of the Sunday blues, but how many people talk about the post-holiday blues? After back-to-back Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s breaks, it’s possible you forgot that you had work-related responsibilities.
A new year means work resumes for many, and the festivities are over. It’s normal to feel lethargic, anxious, sad, disappointed, and overwhelmed during this time. For some people, returning to work can be even more dreadful because of drops in temperature and winter weather.
There are things you can do to feel rejuvenated as you dig into new challenges and goals or get back into the swing of things. For the most part, it’s about prioritizing your wellness, doing things that bring your spirit alive, and also being okay with doing the bare minimum. On that note, ten wellness experts share tips you may want to try if you need a reboot.
1.) Set Boundaries – Amari Jackson, LCPC
“After shuffling around and prioritizing everyone else, it’s time to let everyone know that although you love and value them, it’s time for some much-needed me time. Use your ‘do not disturb’ feature and let everyone know you need time to recharge. ‘No’ is a complete sentence, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for exercising your ‘No’ to care for yourself. It is important to remember your oxygen tank in the midst of enjoying family and friends. The holidays can be over-stimulating and cause you to overcommit to everyone but yourself. Set those boundaries.”
2.) Transition Slowly — Charese L. Josie, LCSW
“Transition slowly back into your routine. Take your time to resume your regular activities and appointments. Give yourself an extra day before returning to work. If not, plan calming activities in the evenings to allow your body to adjust to the new routine and mindset. Have a schedule of what you must do, what you would like to do, and what is optional. The daily plan will assist your perspective in adjusting to the change.”
3.) Get Into A Sleep Routine — Kimberly Tyler-Brown, LMFT
“Making sure to sleep at least 8-10 hours every night helps our bodies to reset, reduce stress and improve our mood. While on holiday, sleep and rest may not have been the focus, and your screen time may have increased. Now is the time to reduce your screen time before bed and develop a routine to retire to bed reasonably to feel rejuvenated the following day.”
4.) Take Care Of Your Gut – Jaree Cottman, Therapist
“The holidays can be full of foods and stress that can wreak havoc on the digestive system. Once the season has passed, some of the impacts of digestion can remain. Our gut serves as our second brain, guiding the flow of information in the body. Nourishing your gut with nutrient-rich foods, water, fiber, and probiotics can help create an important balance for overall health and well-being.”
5.) Practice Being Still – Aaron Bernard, Mental Health Expert
“Being still has so many benefits and can rejuvenate the body. Being still can improve the brain’s function, reduce stress, relax the body, and aid in being more productive. An activity that can help is meditation. Mediation is also helpful as it can help to lower stress levels, increase self-awareness, concentration and improve overall mental health.”
6.) Set New Goals — Ebunoluwa Orimoloye, LICSW/Therapist
“Setting a goal and completing it is one of the best ways to feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to keep going. Although setting your New Year’s resolutions is nice, adding goal setting to your daily routine could be a game changer. Try picking the top three most important tasks and work toward accomplishing them daily. This will help you better prioritize and feel more accomplished each day. This will also help you create wins; of course, when we win, we celebrate. And as we change and grow, we feel better about ourselves because we prove to ourselves that we are reliable, capable, and able.”
7.) Set Sex Goals — Jenifer Smith, Sex Therapist
“I always think a good way to rejuvenate after the holidays is setting some sex goals for the year with your partner or with yourself of things that you want to try, things that were helpful for you over the last year, or things you are curious about trying in the new year. I think it’s healthy for people to set those goals and intentions just as it is for personal [or] professional growth.”
8.) Practice Gratitude – Jimmy Hussain, Therapist
“Things move so fast during the holidays. We usually run around, visit family, shop, cook, clean, and so much more. Then we enter a new year and think, right, this is the time to go for everything we want. We start the gym, we start vlogging, we start new jobs, and we set new goals. While all of these things are commendable and crucial to getting off on the right start to the year, what is equally as important is using the time after the holidays to hit that pause button, sit back and be thankful. Use this time to be intentional about gratitude and set time aside to reflect and think about all the things to be grateful for; as you do this, you will feel lots of endorphins running through your body, boosting your mental well-being and motivating you to achieve even more. It is vital that you unapologetically give yourself the permission to be still and take some time to pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath and say, ‘I made it to another year’”.
9.) Book Therapy Sessions — Dr. Shanita Brown, Therapist
“The holidays can be stressful, and therapy after the holidays is a great way to unpack stressors and create a plan to maintain new years goals.”
10.) Set Intentions For Yourself — Diana Hope, LCSW
“Take time to reflect on all things that allow you to feel once again complete. It can mean feeling energized, safe, or rested. Make a list of these activities and set intentions to engage in them. Research shows that engaging in pleasurable activities boosts our mood. Because of these benefits, being intentional about engaging in these activities is essential for resetting after the holidays.”