The holidays are just about over, and winding down is never easy.
Returning to the real life is a grind - and not everyone manages it well. For some, after a bumpy few days, they're back on track. For others, the 'blues' set in, accompanied by a loss of appetite, feelings of wistfulness and homesickness. This often leads to a mild depression and sense of anxiety.
For those who can't bounce back after the holidays, psychologists have devised various methods for coping. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1.) Lazy last day
On the last day of the holiday vacation, we try to squeeze in as much as we can as the hours slip by. Therapists recommend doing just the opposite: Pull back on your schedule by engaging in calming activities that help your body return to your normal habits.
2.) Catch up on work
Reduce the stress of returning to piles of paperwork by contacting a co-worker who didn't take off for the holidays. That person can fill you in on the important happenings during your absence and inform you of the most urgent assignments awaiting your return.
3.) Homesickness help
If you've been traveling during the holidays, it may be super-helpful for you to relive your holiday experiences - or not. For some, looking at photos of the holidays can be pleasant and soothing. For others, though, reliving memorable events can trigger feelings of anxiety and thwart any efforts to deal with the present.
4.) Calming techniques
A great way to decompress is to engage in yoga and breathing techniques. Taking deep inhalations and long exhalations encourages brain activity and stimulates effective blood circulation while soothing your inner soul. Deep breathing will help you transition from a state of exhilaration to a normal level of existence.
Meditation has also been proven to help reduce the stress of returning from a holiday.
5.) Jet lag
It's no fun when your sleep-wake cycle is disrupted by jet lag. To minimize this effect, doctors advise travelers to get out into the sun as soon as possible upon disembarking. When the sunlight hits your eyes, it helps readjust the sleep-wake cycle.
Even if you haven't flown anywhere, you may have similar symptoms from coming down from a heightened experience. A 15-minute walk in the sun can help you decompress.
6.) Physical exercise
Exercise releases endorphins which flood us with happy feelings while decreasing stress hormones. A win-win solution to the blues!
7.) Your next vacation
Some therapists suggest that planning your next vacation immediately can help you overcome the post-holiday blues.
Others disagree and encourage focusing on the present.
8.) Talk it out
If you're still having difficulty re-entering your pre-holiday existence, have a heart-to-heart with a friend or relative. They can act as a sounding board, help you sort out your feelings, and offer solutions you may not have considered.
Your Turn: How do you de-stress after the holidays? Share your best tips with us in the comments!
- The Daily Telegraph, "Beat the Post Holiday Blues"