By Stephanie Reck
The holidays are over but you may still feel tired, worn-out, and sluggish from “holiday stress.” You may have noticed that you were more susceptible to colds and viruses during this time.
For almost two months from mid-November to the first week of January we over-indulge ourselves in rich, fatty foods, forge our exercising because we are too busy or too tired, stress over meeting the demands of family, hang out with more people that are not emotionally healthy because “it’s the holidays,” and spend money we don’t have on needless gifts.
If you had any added stress during the holidays such as the death of a family member or a close friend it will add to the depleted feeling that you already may have. This is what I would refer to as “compounded stress,” which is stress piled on top of more stress. The holidays can be stressful enough but if you mix in there a sickness or even dealing with a prodigal child it can be multi-layered stress.
You won’t just “bounce” back from compounded stress, you will need to do a series of things daily to jumpstart your “batteries” again. Our bodies “crash” after the weeks and months of added stress, and not eating properly. Most people do not feel refreshed after the holidays a majority feel fatigued and sick.
Take time to reevaluate what your schedule was like during the holidays, write it out to see if maybe that is why you may not be feeling all that energetic, and stop beating yourself up –recharge!
How can you recharge from stress after the holidays?
1. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Nothing recharges your depleted body and mind like a good night’s sleep. Opt for 8 hours during the week and on your days off sleep an hour longer. Go to bed before 11 pm every night.
2. Start exercising, even if it just a brisk walk. You probably won’t feel like exercising in the beginning but the benefits will eventually be felt such as weight loss from all the food consumption during the holidays and an increase in your immunity.
3. Lay off sodas, junk food, sugary snacks, fried/fatty foods, and cut back on over-eating. Discipline yourself to eat healthy, balanced foods during the week and pick one or two days to indulge (sparingly, of course) with your favorite foods and desserts. Drink lots of green tea, cold or hot, but don’t add sugar. You can put stevia or honey in your green tea if you need it sweetened. Drink lots of water to flush out toxins to rehydrate and energize your body.
4. Begin each day and end each night in the Word of God. You don’t have to be legalistic in how you spend time with God each day. Most likely your time with God was not as frequent during the holidays and now it is time to reconnect to God as the most important discipline to recharge you. Have a time where you sit quietly before the Lord to listen to what He wants to speak to you. During the holidays we often can’t hear God as well because we are too busy running, doing, and going. Sit still before the Lord.
5. Do not put a lot on your schedule for January. You need time to recharge, especially if you have undergone compounded stress. Lighten your load as much as possible for January. Stop trying to force yourself to keep up with everyone else.
6. Discipline your mind by taking every thought captive and REPLACE with scripture and faith-filled/positive affirmations daily. It is very likely the holidays brought on some disappointments, and possibly depression. Get your mind FOCUSED again. For additional practical help in how to discipline your mind, check out my latest book release, “Disciplining Your Mind, 30 Days to a Better You.
7. After many weeks of your schedule being haywire, get back to routine and schedule. The holidays often cause havoc on your routines and that can cause problems if you have work to get back to. Organize your morning the night before by laying out your clothes or programming your coffee maker to brew in the AM.
8. Unplug from your phone and other electronic devices every day, even if it just for an hour.
9. Declutter your space. Take some time and declutter around you. The more clutter that you have, you will feel that in your mind.
10. Introverts especially need time alone because of the increased interactions during the holidays. Too much time with people drains an introvert but time alone recharges the introvert. If you are an introvert, find one or two friends to socialize with, and opt-out of the larger group settings until you are recharged. Introverts do crave social interactions, just usually 1:1 interactions that are deep and meaningful. Extroverts, you still need to recharge but maybe not like the introvert.
11. Do something for yourself that is fun and enjoyable perhaps that is having a movie day in your pj’s or trying a new restaurant.
12. January is usually dark and cold but sometimes the sun does come out in January, and when it does go outdoors. Vitamin D from the sun can boost your mood.
13. Take warm, Epson salt baths to eliminate toxins and to relax your body.
Be gentle and patient with yourself during January after the post-holiday frenzy. Recharging your body, mind, and spirit will not happen overnight but if you begin to implement the above suggestions you can start to feel like yourself in a couple of weeks.