We all know the worst part of a holiday is when it comes to an end and we must return to reality and face our everyday lives for another year! We dread returning to our daily chores, the office and driving the kids to school in hectic traffic every day. We often ask ourselves the question, why can’t we always be in holiday mode?
Although that would be wonderful, it is unfortunately not possible, so here are a few ways to beat the holiday blues and get back into a routine.
- Start small
The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, applies to most things in life, and most certainly in this case too. Having to start a full, normal day after weeks of relaxation can be really tiring, but if you ease into it, you will be ready in no time to tackle your first day back in real life.
If you come back early from holiday, it will be a little easier with those few extra days at home to ease back into your routine, but if you return right before going back to work, you can start preparing yourself in your last week away.
Start off by introducing a few things from your normal routine that you have not been doing while in holiday mode to slowly get used to them again. This could include chores like cleaning, cooking full meals if you have been indulging in the convenience of takeout, and you could even prepare the kids for going back to school by having them read a book or play games that involve some maths, reading and thinking about solutions to small problems.
Start getting to bed earlier in the evenings and getting up at the time you normally would. This is also a great idea to apply to children, to ease them and yourself into the shock of waking up and getting ready for the first day of school and work. A good night’s sleep often helps make that what seems to be impossible, much more achievable. Having energy will make getting through the day much easier.
Do some chores and get the whole family to pitch in, giving everyone their own responsibilities. This will set the tone for the rest of the year and get everyone into the habit doing their bit. If they need a little motivation, start a chore chart to lay out each person’s responsibilities, and put it against the fridge for example, so they can clearly see and understand it. For younger children who can’t read yet, use pictures to help them clearly understand what it is that they need to be doing every day. Introducing some form of reward for doing their chores, like pocket money every week or every month, treats once a week, or even just giving them a little extra of something they really like can help motivate them.
- Stay active
When the blood flows a little faster through our veins, we usually feel better and less depressed. For some of us, it may be difficult to get active, but mostly as soon as we start, we feel really good. This is because of the endorphins that get released while we exercise, which help to combat feelings of stress and depression.
You don’t have to immediately do workouts that drive you to be even more exhausted than you already are, start slowly and do something that can involve the entire family.
If you own a dog, take him/her out for a walk every afternoon. This is a great source of family time too, as you spend time away from home where distractions like cell phones, television and children’s toys are an all too familiar “go to” for most of us in today’s lifestyle. The fresh air and sun will make everyone feel good and can also assist in relieving tension in the house if everyone is irritated and working on each other’s nerves. If you don’t own a pet, just walk around the block anyway. It is healthy and will make you feel good, and get you into the habit of doing it throughout the year.
- Eat healthy
According to Mayoclinic.org, depression and diet are related to one another. Studies have found that individuals whose diets are rich in processed, fried and refined foods, and that are high in fat, are more likely to report symptoms of depression compared to those individuals who eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and fish.
Following a healthy diet and drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day can help beat those holiday blues and relieve the stress and anxiety of going into a new year with whatever challenges it may hold.
Feeling good starts on the inside, and ultimately, we control our own happiness and how we handle situations that get thrown at us when we least expect it. We can’t control what happens when in life, but we can control how we treat and prepare our bodies.