It’s no wonder that the holiday season is one of the most joyous times of the year. Spending time with friends and family, trying new and delicious dishes, and giving and receiving gifts are all nourishing activities. But sooner or later, the holidays have to come to an end, which can sometimes leave us feeling stressed, fatigues, apathetic, and unmotivated. I mean, who wants to return to work after such a relaxing and fun-filled few weeks? Thinking about putting on that suit and tie again or opening the work email can feel unbearable. So that these symptoms don’t overshadow your return to routine, here’s five tips you can use to deal with post-holiday stress.
1. Combat physical fatigue. For most of us, holiday celebrations include lots of food and lots of alcohol. When the holiday lasts for several days, the body can have a hard time coping with so many calories, causing you to feel sluggish, foggy, irritable, and stressed. To get the body out of this state, a short detox will do you good. Drink lots of fluids, particularly filtered or mineral water with a bit of lemon. Stay away from dairy and load up on veggies, fruits, smoothies, and good carbs. It may be tempting to reach for that coffee of energy drink, but try green or herbal tea instead, which can help calm stress. Doing a detox for just one or two days will get your brain and body feeling much more reliable for the work week to come.
2. Focus on routine. We all know that when the holiday season is over, it’s difficult to get back into the swing of things, However, research has shown that returning to an established routine will help you to be back on the rails again. The first working days can feel really tough, but at the end of the week you should feel relief. Before starting your work week, plan out the details, starting with waking up and ending when you put your head on that pillow. Be as specific as possible. You don’t have to stick to it perfectly, but visualizing what you want your days to look like will help make it happen. Write in a small reward or activity at the end of each day, like watching your favorite show with your spouse or taking your dog for a walk.
3. Try vitamins and supplements. To get your mind calmed and your health back in check, you may need a little extra help from supplements. Omega-3 fish oil is good for brain and heart heart, and vitamin D can give you a boost of energy. Magnesium is relaxing for the body, as are the herbs St. John’s Wort and Valerian Root, which you can infuse in tea. Speaking of tea, try some mint or eucalyptus throughout your first days at work to relieve stress. There are also certain types of nootropics can be useful to relieve stress and promote the production of happiness hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
4. Get those New Year’s resolutions in check. Many people make New Year's resolutions, but as we all know, only a few of us are able to stick to them for more than a few weeks. The end of the year is a good time to analyze what you’ve achieved over the last twelve months and to set new goals for the future. The Year Compass is a great way to do just this. Writing down your aspirations and reflecting on the past is a surefire way to declutter your thoughts and relieve stress about work, family, and the future.
5. A bit of pick me up shopping. Although credit cards were probably maxed out during the holidays, a bit of post-holiday shopping can be used as a kind of anti-stress remedy. You don’t have to go crazy, but even just a new book or tool set can give you something to look forward to at the end of your stressful work day. Also keep in mind that there are tons of post-holiday discounts, both online and in stores, so keep your eye out for good deals.