The Holiday Hangoverby Elizabeth MacDonald
Your head is spinning. Your bank account is crying. Your pants are too tight. Your kids' sugar highs have crashed. The weather is frightful. The list goes on and on... Welcome to a Holiday Hangover. The decorations are on their way down, the trash is piled high by the curb, and the leftovers should last another few days, but you? You are already over it all, and dreading the bank statement but counting the seconds until school starts again.
It happens year after year. We become so caught up in the gift buying and exchanging, the late night gatherings, the wine pouring, and the thrown-off schedules, that it's like hitting the brick wall of reality once it all ends and January arrives. The house will look naked without the decorations, which tends to trigger the onset of winter blues, but instead of giving into the hangover and feeling depressed, you can beat it and find happiness with the end of the season.
Handling the Holiday Hangover
Step One: Undecorate, Organize, and DonateA new year deserves a clean slate, and while undecorating can be depressing, if you look at it as a fresh start, you'll be much more accepting to the process. Take a weekend to clear out closets, drawers, and toy boxes before storing the new items you just opened. Donating items makes the heart happy, and many donations tend to end as the year does; stretch the art of giving into the new year and continue it throughout with monthly donations. Keeping your heart happy will ward off the winter blues and help you struggle through this mighty holiday hangover.
Step Two: Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins; endorphins make you happy. Happy people can handle the hangover of the holidays a bit easier than grouchy, unhealthy people. Join a gym, grab a friend and take a class, or find a great youtube channel to follow at home, but get your blood flowing!
Step Three: Continue to SocializeAvoid the hibernation stage that tends to happen mid-January and meet up with friends instead. Start a Bunco group or a moms' afternoon date each month. Laughing and catching up will help beat the blues and keep your mind focused on happy things.
Step Four: Fill Your Own Cup
It is vitally important for you to take the time for self-care. The holidays can be overwhelming, and spending time doing something needed to keep your soul happy will help in re-grounding yourself to reality.
Step Five: Budget, Meal Plan, and Save
The bills won't just disappear, but you can be proactive about your finances by setting a budget and saving money each month. One of the best areas to save in is food. Meal planning will help you stay on track!
While none of these steps will cure an actual hangover, they should help the transition from holiday season to the cold reality of winter where the holiday spirit seems to have frozen over.