You know that warm fuzzy feeling that engulfs you over the Christmas and New Year period? Well, it seems that “holiday cheer” is a real thing, and according to scientists, our mental health gets a massive boost on account of it!
Unfortunately, while folks are naturally happier during the holidays, the downside to all the merriment and high spirits is that these good feels tend to disappear when the new year rolls around.
However, that does not necessarily have to be the case.
With the right outlook and steps, it’s possible to draw lessons from all the good vibes of the holiday season and make January and the rest of the year just as joyous and fulfilling.
Here are five ways you can do that:
Focus on self-care
Are you one of those who sleeps better and feels healthier over the year-end holidays only to turn into a stressed and depressed heap when it’s time to return to regular programming?
You’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from post-holiday blues or, more accurately, seasonal affective disorder.
The good news is that it’s possible to beat the gloom with just a few simple tweaks.
Start by carving out time daily ‘me time’ to focus on yourself and resolve to be thankful for the good things in your life.
Think about sustainability
While a time of joy, the holiday season can also be one of excess.
Just think of the reams upon reams of wrapping paper, plates of thrown out dinners and excess power consumption — in fact, all manner of things that contribute to our holiday joy but which get wasted over the yuletide season.
With that in mind, consider leaning on the lessons learnt at Christmastime to commit to a more sustainable new year.
Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Shift to purchasing only environmentally-friendly products. Reduce meat consumption.
There are numerous things you could do that will positively impact your life and the environment.
And the best part is you don’t have to wait for next Christmas and New Year to feel all warm and fuzzy and know you’re making a difference.
Don’t forget the family
One of the best parts about the holidays is getting together with the family to exchange gifts and share meals and laughs.
Regrettably, for most folks, even those of us who are our own bosses, quality family time like that is a rarity over the rest of the year.
The key to maintaining that good cheer, thus, is to continue to make time for loved ones.
But don’t just pencil in “family time” in your calendars. Instead, be very clear about plans so everyone knows exactly what to expect. One option might be to establish new traditions like, for example, monthly get-togethers or outings.
So, it’s important to always strive to do right by the ones who have our backs.
Throw a party
Speaking of get-togethers, why not throw a January bash to perk up your mood?
Yes, party season may have just ended. But that doesn’t mean you can’t organise another do. As a matter of fact, some companies insist on having their office shindigs in January for the simple reason that it’s a spirit booster!
No one’s suggesting an extravagant production with all of the Christmas trimmings. But getting everyone back again for an after-party of sorts is a wonderful way to carry forward positive good feelings.
And as a bonus, a January event means you aren’t bound by Christmas traditions, so be creative!
Plan and organise your day-to-day routine
Remember how you stressed for weeks about Christmas presents and how meticulous you were about the New Year’s Eve dinner menu?
Well, the good news is that craziness is all over now!
That being said, why not channel some of that same energy into organising and planning your daily routine?
Easing into the New Year and dealing with all the demands it brings can be challenging for many people. So it’ll pay to be organised and strategic about daily tasks and priorities, particularly at work.
However, a point to note is not to stress if you stumble at first. Getting back into the swing of things after the holiday period is challenging. And everyone’s in the same boat.
The trick is to keep at it, and hopefully, this new holiday glow can turn the new year into an exciting new adventure.