The holidays are coming to an end, and so are the festivities. The celebrating, going to bed in the wee hours of the morning, eating late breakfasts, and partying the night away will soon be nothing but a fond memory. No matter how much you stretch those vacation days, everyone must get back to work or school, and to their regular routines. Winding back down and getting back to life minus the festivities can require some adjustments and leave you feeling a little blue. On the other hand, it’s a new year, and many see this as a time to make new resolutions and to adopt new healthy habits. It can feel good to get back to your normal routine after a busy—sometimes hectic and stressful—holiday season. If you’re a mom, you probably have a full mental load during the holiday season! Personally, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure I get the right gifts for my children and loved ones, be available to see everyone, and keep our holiday traditions alive. As much as I love the holidays, it’s a lot of pressure, and I feel slightly relieved when January comes around. So if, as the dust settles, you feel less than ready to embark on a fresh new year, then you (and your loved ones) might benefit from some self-care. Here are a few ways to decompress after the holidays and ease into the new year.
1. Try relaxationRelaxation can provide better quality of life and bring you to the present moment. It isn’t just about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby—relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. A simple way of relaxing is to use both visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress, like imagining a wave of serenity taking over your body, relaxing every muscle and bringing you a sense of peace. Lighting a candle or diffusing some lavender oil can also add to the relaxation. Breathing techniques are also often used to help people relax or deal with stress. If you’ve ever attended a yoga class, then you’ve probably already done some type of breathing technique. Whether it be deep breathing, mindful breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, breathing exercises are another of my go-to soothing and calming methods.
2. Take a walkWalking allows you to connect with your thoughts and with nature. No screens, no phones, no distractions. When walking outside, you reconnect with nature. Take a deep breath, delight in your surroundings, and feel that deeper connection forming between you, nature, and your inner mind.
3. Talk it outWhen I feel stressed or out of sorts, it helps me to share, talk, and connect with someone—it feels like a weight lifting off of my shoulders. It helps relieve any stress I might have. Often, it helps to know that you’re not alone.
4. Prioritize sleepIf you were one of the many people who sacrificed quality sleep to keep up with the increased demands of the stressful holiday season, now is the time to reset the clock and get back to a healthy sleep schedule. Getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night is what is recommended for adults. To ease into a nice restorative sleep, setting a winding down routine can help. Keeping electronics out of the room, sipping on chamomile tea, having a natural herbal sleep aid, such as Deep Sleep by A.Vogel, taking a bath, or reading a few pages of a book are some of the methods I like to use. To help the body as it transitions back into regular daily life, there are a few supplements I like to prioritize and add to my wellness routine.
- Echinacea. This North American plant has many properties that benefit human health. It is found in many combination supplements, and you can get it in tablet or tincture form, depending on your preference. One of my favorite echinacea products is the throat spray by A.Vogel. It has antiviral and antibiotic properties, which provides protection from both viruses and bacteria.
- Turmeric. This herb is good for the entire body. Its active ingredient, curcumin, is considered to have anticancer properties. Following a period of heavier eating and drinking, your liver might benefit from the components in turmeric, which are anti-inflammatory and assist the enzymes in the liver that are responsible for flushing out toxins. I like taking a daily shot of turmeric juice, or a golden milk like the one from Organic Traditions (a powder that you mix with your choice of milk and heat up).
- Vitamin D. In the winter, humans are exposed to more infections and spend less time outdoors. Vitamin D plays an essential role in the functioning and maintenance of the human body. It helps the body absorb calcium, important for the maintenance of healthy bones, and it ensures that the immune, muscular, and nervous systems all function properly.
- Peppermint tea. This classic garden plant can be used for more than just seasoning. Some research suggests that the aroma may reduce feelings of frustration, anxiety, and fatigue.