I’m a magnet for the holiday blues. Mr Smaggle is too. We’re actually really grateful that our daughter was born right before Christmas because it’s given us something to focus on over the holiday period when we usually try to take a break but fail spectacularly at it.
We’ve always sucked at holidays. We try to do the relaxing by the pool/beach holidays but they’re just not our style. I think it’s because we’re a bit scared of the holiday blues… they come and get you at weird times when you’re supposed to be the most relaxed and happy you’ve been all year. I just don’t feel good unless I’ve done something productive and that includes holidays. How much does that suck?
If you’re the same you need to employ these little tips to help you beat those nasty holiday sads…
1. Move your butt
When you aren’t working every day or running your usual errands, you remove at least half of your incidental activity like walking to your building, going up and down stairs and running around your office. I cannot stress enough how detrimental inactivity is for your mental health and general health as well. Go do a load of washing, walk to get a coffee or have a spring clean. Get up and get some shit done. Yes, it’s a holiday but that isn’t an excuse to go full slug town on the situation. No one said holidays weren’t for moving.
2. Learn how to do something
Holidays are the perfect time to learn to crochet, do some lettering, paint something and tackle that giant DIY craft board you’ve spent 2 years making on Pinterest. Now is the time grasshopper… get to it!
3. Write lists
Of things that you want to get done over the holidays, of things that you want to achieve in the new year or of things that you want to achieve in five years time. The problem with the holidays is that often we feel purposeless as we are not working or studying. You don’t have to DO anything on the lists just simply writing them will give you a sense of clarity and help you relax.
See what volunteer programs are available in your area – you might like to walk dogs at your local shelter or volunteer at a food van. At the very least you should give blood because holidays are when blood is needed the most. It will make you feel all glowy inside I promise!
5. Eat well
Don’t think that if you eat sugar, refined carbohydrates, salt and fat for your whole holiday that you’ll feel good. You won’t. Eat some salad, have some salmon. Perhaps an apple? I promise you’ll feel better.
6. Sleep… but not too much
Avoid the temptation to oversleep and try to stick to your normal sleeping patterns. A few sleep-ins or late nights here and there won’t hurt but try to keep to semi-normal patterns, otherwise, your return to work will be a lot more painful than you expected.
Checking your Facebook, blog, Twitter and email twenty times while you’re on holiday just isn’t necessary. Turn the damn things off and get outside, read a book or talk to three-dimensional people. Why not try going without the internet for 48 hours? Now is the perfect time.
8. Avoid alcohol
It’s a depressant, it really is. By all means, have a glass (or 4!) of champers on New Year but don’t waste your yearly recovery time on being hungover. Go for hikes, go to the movies, read books… definitely meet your mate at the pub for a beer but try not to make the whole holiday season an endless cycle of being drunk/hungover.
9. Get dressed
Properly. Every day. There’s something about the holidays that turns even the best of us into slobs.