It’s January!! We did it. We made it through all of last year and even through the hustle and bustle of the holidays. For some, this time of year is exciting! They have their New Year’s resolutions and feel as though they are starting afresh with a new lease on life. For others, it can be a bit depressing though. We think about the things we didn’t get done last year that we just KNEW we would. Maybe we think about things or people we lost. Whatever the reason for your post-holiday blues I have some tips to help you beat them, and even better, they don’t have to cost you a thing.
Here are some simple tips to use this winter that may help lift your spirits:
- Stay social – not social media
The holidays center on social events, like parties, big meals and traveling to see people we haven’t seen in a long time. After such a flurry of social activity, you may find yourself feeling lonely when it suddenly stops. But there’s no rule saying your social calendar needs to be empty after Jan. 1. Plan some activities with friends. They don’t need to cost money. Take a walk or watch a movie at home with someone. Talking on the phone can be a great social outlet, too. Do people even talk on the phone anymore? Or is it just texting or snapping or tweeting or whatever else the cool kids are doing? Pick up the phone and call someone just to hear their voice. Who knows, they may need to conversation just as much as you do.
- Get active
Getting active is one of the best things you can do for yourself, especially when you’re feeling a little down. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the brain that help trigger a positive mood. You don’t need to pay for a gym membership or an expensive exercise machine. Get outside for a quick run or walk. Stretch or do yoga in your living room, or try a free aerobics class on YouTube. You may be surprised how much better you feel when your workout is through. For me, this is one that I would have to FORCE myself into doing, especially if I am feeling down! Exercising has never been something I enjoyed or cared anything about doing but for my son it is a way of life for him. If he is happy, he works out. If he is sad or mad, he works out. If he is bored, he works out. If only there was a way I could have some of his workouts transfer to me then we’d be in business!
- Focus On Realistic Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions give us something to focus on after the holiday parties are over. It’s great to have goals and something to look forward to, but be careful not to become too perfectionist or hard on yourself about achieving resolutions. Unattainable goals only cause stress and feelings of failure. Instead, focus on realistic goals you can actually work toward and feel good about. Even small wins are wins. One of my friends asked me a few years ago what my ‘word’ would be for the upcoming year. This resonated with me because I never do resolutions. My word for that year was CHANGE. I wanted to see change in my marriage, change in my family, change in myself as a person and change in my job. So every decision I made was looked at through the lens of the change I wanted to see. Maybe instead of making a new resolution for this year, just think about the word that will help shape your year and decisions.
- Look Forward To The Next Big Thing
Thanksgiving through New Years isn’t the only fun season on the calendar. After the holidays, there is still plenty to look forward to with optimism. Start planning your next vacation or what you want to do on spring break. And there are still long holiday weekends in January and February, such as President’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. Planning a simple family outing, stay-cation or dinner party with friends can refocus your thoughts. Also, don’t forget to just breath. Just be still and enjoy the calm and peace around you when you aren’t having to run to and fro all the time.
- Boost Your Mood With vitamin D
Low levels of vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” have been linked to depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. Of course, in winter months, exposure to sunshine can be a little scarce. Eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking a supplement is an affordable option that may help improve your mood until spring. To learn more about vitamin D and why it is so important for you, check out Healthline.
I hope you found some helpful tips here but more importantly, I pray peace and rest and blessings over you in this New Year. We are all in this together and here’s to the best one yet!