Friday, January 04, 2013

10 ways to beat post-holiday blues

I had a couple of this Gingerbread Man from Krispy Kreme and such made my holidays! Child-like but this surely uplifted me. Holidays done, and no more Gingerbread Man for now, but I will stay uplifted.

I think the post-holiday blues bit me.

I was so hyped the whole day yesterday --- completing three deadlines, one of them actually due today but I finished ahead --- that upon leaving the office, I felt tired.

It probably did not help that I had to wait almost an hour for the shuttle ride home, and the mosquitoes were feasting on my ankles. When I got home last night, I felt so hungry that I ate a complete rice meal (the plan was to skip and stick to fruits, which I had apple, two regular-sized bananas, and 2 kiat-kiats/mandarin oranges for lunch), plus dessert! Then I finished the Swedish film, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and after, I just fell asleep on our sofa, dead tired! And I was supposed to workout, read, and blog! Earlier, I snoozed for countless times (having moved to my room around 3 a.m.), and when I finally woke up, it was almost 8 a.m.! I am so thankful that traffic was smooth I got to work in an hour. What happened last night seemed like manifestation of post-holiday blues.

Holiday hangover, post-holiday blues, Monday blues, January blues (which study says mid-January is the most depressing time of the year) --- called by different names but it only means a type of not so pleasant mood (often associated with depression) that some people experience after long breaks. Many of us looked forward to the Yuletide season as the most awaited event of our year. When it set in, we felt all hurried and stressed with various preparations, parties, and gatherings. Come back January 2, we dread to return to our routine (work or school), that we also feel lazy, tired, and irritable.

The good news is, it is supposed to last only a week. If it would not wear off in that period of time, it might mean something more serious that might require medical attention. Thankfully though, there are a lot of ways to beat the post-holiday blues, and I am taking note of the following so I can cope well:

1. Move forward. Again, my theme fits this fight against post-holiday blues. I am trying my hardest not to dwell on things that did not work for me in 2012 or even years back, as they would only pull me down --- migraine, very painful menstrual period! The days ahead are promising and I am seizing them to my advantage.

2. Be productive. I am filling my planners with things to do both on and off work; upcoming occasions like family birthdays, an event to attend to, meeting friends! Surely, these would mean more reasons to keep going.

3. Surround myself with "positive" people. Really, it works for me. Recently, I met someone who by far, has been the most pleasant person I talked to. The conversation was so light and easy that time passed so quickly. I am just glad to know that there are positive people out there who can make other people light and easy, and I like to be one of them. I am trying. Smiling more often is a start. I have been often complimented to have beautiful, smiling eyes (though hidden behind fashionably nerdy glasses). So yes, why not maximize that asset of mine?

4. Eat good food --- and with good company. I do not know how many times last year that I had working lunches. This year, I am more conscious to resist such bad habit. Good food is meant to be enjoyed, only while dining, and not while multitasking. It also helps though to dine with someone or a set of friends, and family of course! Food is indeed best shared. As I always say to my teammates, "share the calories!"

5. Look after myself. I vow not to miss my doctor's appointments and do what is necessary for me to be well and going. Eating consciously (having small portions and avoiding skipping meals) is also a must for me now. My running shoes, pedometer, and jogging suit are waiting for me this weekend! My basic Pilates kit is also on standby. I spent on those workout tools so I better use them to my benefit.

6. Finish a book. I am more than halfway reading Haruki Murakami's 1Q84. It is a long, voluminous read but it is so worth it. Reading a book --- fiction or otherwise --- puts me at ease. Nothing also beats a nook of my own, with coffee in hand as I finish another tome --- print or in ebook format.

7. Seize my thoughts. So far, this is my third blog post for the New Year --- last year I only had 9 for Descovrir! I have been absent for almost a year writing for magazines, so my blogs (Descovrir and Rediscover) are the best avenue for me to continuously sharpen my journalistic skills. And there are so many things to write about!

8. Create more livable space. The general cleaning I had of my room last weekend was therapeutic (though the allergic rhinitis that followed was nasty). I made more space for my stuff by throwing away stuff I no longer need. I think there is more decluttering to do, both in my room and our home in general, so I am scheduling another weekend for that.

9. Have more quality alone time. There were a lot of times last year I deliberately isolated myself --- avoiding my workmates for team lunches, turned down friends' invites, locked myself in my room. And those times I was alone were not healthy times. Now, I am making my "alone" time more quality alone time, use them more productively and more positively --- whether I dine out, take a long walk, stay in my room, or travel more --- those alone times would be the best for me.

10. Pray. Or be still or meditate. Personally, nothing beats Divine Intervention to help you work things out. Yes, ora et labora or pray and work --- this Rule of St. Benedict is my formula. I have to do my share to achieve the things I set out for myself. And I pray for guidance that whatever happens for this New Year, I would be able to accept it.

And I pray hard that these things I listed here to cope with post-holiday blues --- or any time of the year blues --- would work. They might work for you, too!

So, post-holiday blues, be gone!
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