Post Holiday Blues
Many people believe that the holidays can be the hardest time of the year. In fact it's after the holidays that people often struggle. When all the parties have stopped and everyone is no longer focused on the joy of the holidays it is easy to slip into depression and sadness. If you find yourself struggling after the new year, try these quick tips.
1. Be intentional about reaching out: It's easy to wait for someone to invite you to a party or to go to coffee but sometimes that wait can drive you mad. How about once this week you reach out to a friend, a co-worker or someone you have been thinking about connecting with. This is a great time! Make that call. Shoot out that text. Schedule a time to meet up. You'll enjoy it.
2. Be present: If you find yourself down the last thing you want to do is reach for social media and distract yourself. Try to be present with the people around you. Giving them your full attention is such a beautiful way to connect. Connection helps decrease the blues.
3. Be active: Get out there and move! Sign up for a race, join a gym, start an online exercise program or just go out and walk. It has been proven time and time again that exercise is the best natural anti-depressant that we can use. Can you be intentional about it? Plan 3 times a week to workout for at least 30 minutes. When I say workout really get your sweat on! Or can you get out 5 times a week and go for a 20 min walk around the neighborhood? This would be a great time to connect with a friend and join a challenge together.
4. Be forgiving: Resentment, bitterness and anger can simmer to the surface when we don't have all the distractions to keep us from reminding us of our hurts. Can you forgive whomever hurt you? As yourself these questions; will this matter in a month? Will this matter in 5 years? If not try letting that anger go. Forgive and truly move forward so you can connect with those people who want to make your life a better place.
5. Be willing to feel your feels: Loneliness hurts. Sadness hurts. Disappointment hurts. Instead of distracting yourself all day long schedule in 15 minutes a day to feel your feels. Allow yourself that room to really feel whatever it is that you are overwhelmed with. Is it stress? Is it anxiety? Is it anger? Maybe it's just plain loneliness. All are ok. All are normal. Schedule yourself time to feel your feels like you schedule in the gym. Then after those 15 minutes are up move forward with your day knowing that you have it on your schedule again tomorrow. Eventually you might not need to schedule it so often.
6. Be still: Spend 5-10 minutes a day just being still. No television, no phones, no computers, just you, your breathing and the quiet. Learning mindfulness or meditation is a great practice to incorporate into your daily routine. Much like brushing your teeth, we need to clean our minds. Learning the art of mindfulness or meditation gives us the skills to do just that. Start small with 2 minutes and work your way up. You can even download a fun app like Calm or Headspace to guide you through.
7. Be giving: Sometimes we forget that we aren't the only ones suffering and giving back allows us to step out of our own heads and increase our moods. Find a cause you support, be it a soup kitchen, an animal shelter, a hospital or whatever tickles your fancy. Get out there and volunteer your time. You have purpose in life sometimes this helps awaken that within.
Good luck! Remember you got this. One baby step at a time.