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Tips to beat post-holiday blues
The festive season is a time of celebration, filled with friends and family, relaxation and travel. It’s a period we spend weeks and even months planning for and looking forward to, and then immerse ourselves in with gusto.
But once the festivities are wrapped up, the Christmas tree has been taken down and you’ve returned home from travels, a post-holiday slump can set in. For some, it stems from a return back to work and for others, there’s a big hole left from the departure of family and friends and now there are quiet days to fill.
To help you enjoy the post-holiday period as much as the festive season and charge into the New Year with the same level of enthusiasm, we’ve put together five tips for beating the post-holiday blues.
Learn something new
It’s easy to forget that no matter what age you are, you can still add a new feather or two to your cap. Yet nothing puts a spring in your step like giving yourself a little challenge and mastering something new. The added bonus is that learning something new is not only good for your mood but for your mind, too. Have you thought about returning to university? Or, if you’re based in Victoria, you could check out classes at your closest University of the Third Age (U3A) or see what they have available online. Why not tackle the Italian language or learn about Renaissance art history before your next trip overseas? Or, sharpen your carpentry skills and make the perfect chair? Who knows what new talents you’ll be surprising the family with next holiday season!
The post-holiday period is a fantastic time to start a new exercise regimen – not only does summer make starting a new exercise easier, but we’ve also often overindulged over Christmas and are feeling a little guilty.
For those who are reducing work hours and spending more time with the grandkids, this is the perfect opportunity to get out and get active with them. While you might not be quite up to chasing them around a park all day, simply walking to the library before tucking into a good book together is a great low impact way of getting your steps in.
If you always wanted to try an activity but haven’t yet given it a crack, why not use this as an opportunity to give it a go? From ballroom dancing to tai chi, there’s an activity for every sensibility and capability. We always talk about those things we wish we’d tried over the years, so this could be the perfect antidote for that post-holiday slump.
Have a think about why the festive season is great for you. Is it catching up with friends and family? Or setting aside responsibilities and putting your feet up for a couple of weeks? Once the holiday period is over, it’s never too early to put on your thinking cap and start planning for your next treat. This could be finding a house and sending invites out for a gathering for Easter, or keeping an eye out for cheap flights and booking your next trip.
In fact, few things beat the post-holiday blues better than planning your next trip. Book a holiday package and know you’ll have an adventure without the stress of planning every last detail. Or, if you’re feeling up to it, plan something a little more intrepid. For those planning to jet off solo, companies like Encounter Travel cater to single travellers over 50.
The quiet period after the festive season is a great time to embrace just that: quietness. Lots of studies have found meditation good for creating a sense of calm and happiness, not to mention improving sleep, lowering blood pressure and slowing some of the symptoms of ageing. There are numerous meditation and visualisation apps to try, sometimes just requiring 10 minutes a day. Try free apps like Headspace or Smiling Mind.
If meditation isn’t your thing, take some long walks or put up your feet and read for hours without feeling guilty, preferably in a hammock or sun lounge – that’s what summer’s for!
Volunteer your time
The start of the year is a great time to plan your timetable and slotting in an ongoing role volunteering is best done when there’s still time in your week and charities are on the lookout. You might have something in mind but if not, organisations such as Go Volunteer and Seek Volunteer have listings by job, organisation or location, so you can choose what sort of work you want, where you want it and how your skillset can best be utilised. If you’d like to take off for a full year, check out Australian Volunteers International which has regular postings to countries in need. By next Christmas, you could be somewhere you never dreamt of, or entertaining the family with tales from abroad!
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