The weeks following the end-of-year holidays can be a big struggle. On one hand you’re trying to recover from the holiday festivities, but on the other you’re feeling motivated to set & conquer new goals for 2022.
These very conflicting states of mind can make you feel like you don’t have it together and a little unsure of how to get it together. Check out the few ideas I’ve listed to help get yourself back on track after the holidays and ready to take on the new year!
Leave The Holiday Vibes (and guilt) Behind
So, you overindulged over the holidays. Was it fun? Was it worth it? Yes? Awesome! You had a great time, got to relax, ate food you wouldn't normally eat, and now it's time to get back on track. Just because you let things slide a little during the holidays doesn't mean it needs to become your new normal. What was done is done, now get organized and set yourself up to have a great year!
Clear Out the Excess
Fridge still full of old leftovers? Boxes from gifts still on the table or stacked in a corner? Time to throw it out! Cleaning up and decluttering will help make you feel lighter and fresh going into the new year.
Get clear on what it is you want to achieve in the new year, then make a plan to get it done. A great way to do this is by making your goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Your goals don't have to be huge goals to make them worthwhile. Create goals that are achievable so you’re not setting yourself up for failure before you even begin. Achieving lots of little goals is better than not being able to achieve just one lofty goal.
Create a Sleep Schedule
Your sleep schedule over the holidays probably got thrown out of whack by staying up and getting up later than usual. If you’re trying to get yourself back on track, one of the best ways to begin is to create and maintain a sleep schedule for yourself.
Your body recovers when you’re sleeping, and there’s endless studies that show how your sleep schedule and bedtime habits affect your mental health, your overall body health (blood pressure, weight maintenance, etc.), and energy level. It's best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed, regardless of what you may have going on (or not going on) the next day. Really sticking to it might mean not watching that next episode on Netflix and getting up early even on the weekends, but do whatever it takes to keep it consistent!
Yup, I said it. Many people have gotten into the habit of having a beer or glass of wine with dinner almost every night, and maybe a few in between while you celebrate the holidays. Over time that seemingly innocent habit can turn into more of a need than an innocent want.
To detox yourself and keep yourself in check (is this a habit you have full control over?), challenge yourself to a “Dry January”. It’s basically what it sounds like- a time to completely remove alcohol from your life, especially if your holiday parties were full of it. While it may seem lame, give it a try! You’ll probably be surprised how mow much better you end up feeling after the first week, and how all of a sudden you start sleeping better, have more energy, and may even lose a few pounds!
Sounds like more work than it’s worth, but trust me on this, meal prepping is a total game changer! This is the best way to make sure you always have good and healthy meal options on-hand, especially if one of your 2021 goals is to eat better. Every Sunday, make a couple different meals in bulk and simply store them away in the freezer. Now you have an easy lunch already ready to go when you’re headed out the door for work each day, or something you can just pop in the microwave on those nights you don’t feel like cooking. Every week, make a few more meals so you always have great options on rotation.
Go for Daily Walks
Even if it’s cold where you live, just get outside for a little walk daily. Getting out even for a short trip around the block or your office parking lot can be such a mood booster and increase your overall productive activity for the day. Since I know I tend to feel kinda “blah” around mid-afternoon, I choose that time to get up and make myself move. Listen to a podcast, music, or just enjoy some silence away from your annoying coworker. Doing this daily and creating a habit out of it will help you feel more focused and on-track for the year ahead.
Yes, I mean actually schedule it. If it’s not something you specifically set time aside to do, the likelihood of you actually doing it is slim. In order to get your life back on track and be in a better mindset, give yourself a whole evening of self-love weekly if possible. Pick a night every week where you know you don’t have anything going on and let everyone in your house know that that night is yours. Turn off your phone, draw a bath, paint your nails, do a face mask… whatever “self-care” means for you! You deserve it and need it for your mental health. The people around you will also appreciate it if it’s something that puts you in a better mood!