How to beat the post-holiday blues

The holidays are over, and all the hustle and bustle of shopping, socialising, cooking, and traveling has ended. But now what? The post-holiday blues can set in quickly without careful planning. Here are some tips on how to handle the post-holiday blues and make the rest of your winter more enjoyable!

Get up and get moving

Exercise increases serotonin levels, which help people feel better overall. Movement can give you an energy boost too! January is a great time to start a new exercise plan or challenge yourself to take up something you’ve always wanted to do. Gyms and sports associations tend to have signup offers around this time of the year, meaning you can get fit and spend less money getting into a new routine.

If you aren’t the gym type, why not go for regular walks? It may be cold outside but it’s a beautiful time of year to spend some time outdoors. You can also make the most of all that fresh air, as it will help you feel more refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day.

Related: 5 simple steps to start exercising

Seek out cosy activities

Whether it’s curling up with a good book, having a warm bath with some calming essential oils, or simply lighting candles around your home to create a relaxing ambiance – if it makes you feel cosy and comforted, it is worth doing! This is particularly important in the colder months as we tend to crave warmth and home comforts. Taking care of yourself will help you rest and recharge after all the festivities, as well as help lift your mood.

Related: Beat the winter blues with Danish Hygge

Set goals for yourself

It’s a great time of year to set yourself new and exciting challenges, as everyone starts afresh in the New Year. Having something to work towards can help give you motivation when those winter blues start to creep back up on you again. This might include taking part in charity work, reading more books, or even just organising your home.

As highlighted by Positive Psychology, there are many benefits to goal-setting, including motivation and satisfaction – and the sense of achievement you feel when achieving goals is sure to lift your mood and give you a boost! You can even plan rewards for when you achieve your goals, as this will make the process even more enjoyable.

Be grateful for what you have

It can be easy to get caught up in thinking about what you don’t have and all the things you miss now the festive period is over. However, sometimes it helps to stop and think of all that we do have – whether it is friends and family around us, a roof over our head each night, food on the table for dinner every day, or the little things that make you smile. Be grateful for all these things, and remember that there are people out there who aren’t as fortunate as yourself. This will improve your mood and mindset, as studies have found that gratitude was linked to more positive emotions, greater contentment with life, and fewer negative feelings such as sadness, anger, and jealousy.

Letting go of negative feelings can help improve your mood overall – which will make it easier to take on those new goals with a positive attitude. Thinking about what you do have to look forward to instead of wishing it was Christmas again will help you establish a positive mindset.

Focus on giving back

Getting involved in community work can give you that boost of positivity while making the world around us better too! In fact, as highlighted by NCVO, it has been proven that volunteering and helping others makes us feel happier and more grateful for what we have. There are many different volunteer opportunities out there – from volunteering at a local shelter or soup kitchen to donating unwanted items.

Treat yourself

It’s important to treat yourself every now and then! Whether you want a new dress or pair of shoes, fancy booking an indulgent spa day soon, or order your favourite takeaway – why not plan something that you will enjoy? Treating yourself is a great way to boost your mood, as well as providing you with a nice experience you can look forward to.

Try new recipes

Who doesn’t love a good home-cooked meal? Whether it’s your favourite dish or something new you’ve always wanted to try, why not plan some time in the next few weeks to cook yourself an evening meal when you get in from work. There are many websites out there with delicious recipes that are simple and easy enough for even the most novice of cooks. Why not try healthy versions of comfort foods to add a touch of indulgence to your meals without feeling guilty?

Schedule time to meet with friends and family

It may be cold outside but it’s not a reason to hibernate and put our social lives on hold! Scheduling regular time to meet up with friends and family helps us stay connected and feel happy. Adults who have a lot of social support are less likely to experience many serious illnesses, including depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI), according to Mayo Clinic. Older people with a lot of friends have been found to live longer than those with fewer connections.

Seeing our loved ones more often is sure to lift our mood, so avoid the common post-holiday trap of isolating yourself when you feel down or that it’s too cold to go out and meet people.