Decorations have been put away, vacations are over, and it’s back to life as usual. For many of us, the post-holiday blues set in about this time of year. Not having a big event to look forward to, missing family and friends, and having to return to the grind of work and school leaves many feeling a bit down. Here’s how to turn that frown upside-down and put a positive outlook on the rest of January and beyond.
Pull out your calendar and find the next date you’ll see those family members you’re missing or the next birthday or holiday celebration. It might be closer than you think! Like the countdown to Christmas, make a countdown to this event to increase your excitement level.
Some of your down feelings may be attributed to the lack of activity you have this month as compared to last. The hustle of gift buying, parties to attend, home preparation for visitors or travel is over, and you’re faced with some down-time. Fill that free-time up with new activities, like exercise (New Year’s Resolutions, anyone?!), joining a club or simply doing chores like decluttering and organizing. Booking these activities into your calendar will fill up your open time slots and help you feel more productive and energized.
Instead of focusing on the difficult or negative feelings towards a return to work or school, flip the coin and look at the positives, like the opportunity to learn about a new subject, a new skill, or the challenge of a big project and the satisfaction you’ll feel when it’s complete. Putting yourself in a positive mindset will lift your spirits. Try this: each morning when you wake up, take a quick moment to be thankful for your health, your family, and the good things in life. It will start your day off on the right foot!
Get outside! The return to work may require long hours indoors at a desk, but taking even a few minutes to walk outdoors and feel the sunshine on your face will help you feel better. The vitamin D you’ll absorb from the sunlight is a natural mood booster, as are the endorphins you’ll get from moving your body.