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  • Writer's pictureTom

6 Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues

(Or PBH's, as we call them...)

When the decorations are all put away, the fridge is filled with week-old leftovers and it’s time to trade in the gift bags for briefcases and backpacks, things can get a little overwhelming.

The mountain of work is waiting. The alarm clock is staring. And it’s back to reality. Before anxiety sets in, consider these six things to get everyone rebooted and ready for a smooth start to the new year.

1. Schedule a short week.

If possible, schedule your first day back in the office for midweek. (This year works perfectly, since New Year’s Day is on a Tuesday…) Even if you make arrangements to use a vacation day or two, you’ll have a shortened week—the perfect pace to ease your way back into work life!

2. Come Back With Time To Spare.

On the morning of your return, plan to arrive an hour or so before your co-workers do. I know—setting your alarm earlier than usual is not how you anticipated ending your vacation. But after a few days off, you’re bound to have a mountain of voicemails and emails waiting, and you’ll accomplish much more if you can sort through them without the distraction of your co-workers’ holiday photos.

3. Take a Junk Food Fast.

It seems so logical and perhaps the reason why so many people choose to diet in the new year. Most of the foods people enjoy during the long holiday season include copious amounts of fat and sugar, which not only raises your insulin levels, but sends your emotions on a roller-coaster ride that ends in mood swings and sugar cravings. To hit the reset button, opt out of high-fat foods, processed foods, sugary snacks, for the month of January. Chances are your mood will level off and the effort of returning to everyday life won’t feel like such a mess.

4. De-Clutter and Give Things to Charity.

Speaking of a mess, have you ever pulled out all of your holiday decorations to realize that you don’t use half of them or that some are broken and simply put back into the basement year after year? Cleaning and de-cluttering can be therapeutic. You can create space for beauty and amazing possibilities. You can bless others by giving away things you no longer need.

5. Get Financial Help and Plan for the Upcoming Year.

Many people experience post-holiday blues when they awaken to the credit card bills in the mailbox and realize they’ve overspent. Instead of burying them underneath the pile (you know the one I’m talking about), make a plan for the upcoming year’s holiday spending. Many banks offer a holiday savings account and the first of the year is a great time to start saving. Take a look at how much you spent over the holidays, take the total amount, and divide it by 12. You now know how much you’ll need to save each month for gift giving and holiday festivities.

And if professional, no-nonsense, low-pressure financial advice is what you’re after, an advisor from someplace like Thrivent can be a great resource!

6. Remember What You Loved About the Holidays.

Grab dinner or popcorn with the family, sit around the living room, and reflect on what you loved about this holiday season.

• What was the best conversation you had?

• What was the most thoughtful gift you received?

• What was the funniest thing that happened?

• What was one disaster that turned into a blessing or a great memory?

Focusing on the positive can bring you to a place of gratitude about the recent past and give you things to look forward to for the future. And gratitude is not only a win for everyone, but puts us in a place to notice more things to be grateful for. And that’s the best mindset to be in anyway.

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