5 Tips for Overcoming The-End-of-Holiday-Blues



 

Happy New Year!

If you are anything like me, no matter how much you were looking forward to the new year, there’s always a bit of blues that comes with saying goodbye to another holiday season.  Life returning to “normal” sounds so good, and yet, is so uncomfortable– and if I’m totally honest, a bit depressing.

Over the years I’ve come up with some tried and true strategies and routines that help me combat those end-of-holiday-blues.

Here’s my top 5:

1. Do something to celebrate the putting away of holiday decor.

We all have great memories of putting out the holiday decorations, right? Music, warm drinks, family, making our homes feel cozy.  Well, do something like this to celebrate the putting away of the same decorations.  Plan a special dinner. Listen to some favorite tunes.  Watch your favorite non-holiday movie.  Doesn’t matter what it is, just something that makes you feel good that your house it back to normal and helps you look forward to that day each year.

2. Plan at least one vacation

When I had my first job out of college, we went from Christmas until Memorial Day without another paid day off.  Ugh, it was always so depressing to look at the calendar 6 months out and not see any time off.  Instead, use January as a time to set up some vacation time for yourself.  Even if it’s as simple as adding a mental health day to your schedule, or planning a weekend get away, or noting when a movie you are excited to see is coming out {Catching Fire expected release date: 11/22/13}.  It doesn’t matter what it is, or how simple it is, just get somethings on the calendar that you are looking forward to– before Memorial Day!

3. Pick a (or many) random holiday(s) to celebrate

Between January and March there are all kinds of “random” events that make perfect holiday’s to celebrate.  The super bowl, Valentine’s day, President’s day, St. Patty’s Day are all great excuses to plan a dinner party, happy hour, game night, or pot luck. You don’t have be super into the particular holiday– it just gives ya a reason to do something fun with the people you care about.

(I couldn’t tell you who has played in, or won, the super bowl the last 5 years but I know which chili recipe I can’t wait to have again on 2/3/13!)

4. Reflect over your past year & Name it

There’s a reason that resolutions are tied to the new year.  Reflecting back over our past year is a very nice way to remember both the good and the not so good we’ve been through, remember how far we’ve come, give thanks for the successes we’ve had, while getting clearer about what we want going forward.  One of my favorite ways to do this is by naming the past year.  Some sort of funny endearing name that will help you reflect back on your year with humor and appreciation while at the same time reminding yourself it is over.

For me, 2012 is the year of “Fear.”  2011 was the year of “Relaxation for Dummies.”  You get the point.

5. Make positive inner-peace focused resolutions

We’ve all done the whole “I will go to the gym 14 times a week and not eat a carb for 6 months” type of resolution in the past.  And how does that usually work out for ya?  Instead, focus on what you’d like to feel, experience, understand, foster within yourself when setting resolutions.   Take some time, sit down, and really think about how you felt last year, how you feel now, and want to feel next year.  Don’t worry about what you want to do– that will come if you start by focusing on, and getting clear about, how you want to feel.  Then, each day when making decisions, you can ask yourself, “Will _______ help me feel how I want to feel?”  I think you’ll find it’s a whole new way of going about the old resolution game.

Self-Esteem: Why it Get’s Mistaken for Weight

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I am preparing this blog post ahead of time, as I’ll be on vacation next week.  When this is posted I’ll be lounging poolside in Las Vegas basking in the sunshine, floating down a lazy river, and sipping cocktails (hopefully) delivered by some cute cabana boy.  I can’t wait!

Weight & Self-Esteem.

As I’ve been getting ready for this poolside vacation I’ve found myself reflecting on the connection between Self-Esteem and weight.  Sometimes it seems like 95% of information on self-esteem talks about nothing but weight and body image. Do you notice this, too? I think it’s annoying, and to be frank, disappointing.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that our body image plays a part in our self-esteem, of course it does- it’s part of us.  But, it’s not the only part of us.  More importantly, weight struggles are not the only way low self-esteem shows it’s ugly head.

So why do we focus so much on weight & self-esteem?

Because weight, especially too much weight, can’t be hidden.

Unlike anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders and chronic pain our size is out there in the world everyday.  There is no way hide our size.  There is no way to pretend we are a size 0 if we aren’t.  There is no way to secretly struggle with weight.  If we do struggle with weight, it’s out there, everyone knows.

On one had, this is difficult.  It’s hard to publicly be exposed as “less than perfect,” especially in our beauty driven culture.  But on the other hand, it’s kind of amazing!  Publicly living a struggle gives access to a great resource that would be missed if the struggle were secret- community.  Other people going through, or who have been through, similar circumstances. Body positive programs, blogs, articles, and support systems are popping up everywhere because weight can’t be hidden.

Celebrate Community

“Shame is about the fear of disconnection” -Brené Brown

One thing I know for sure- secrecy hurts.  As humans, secrecy and shame are the worst pain we experience.  There is nothing like the feeling of reaching out, being real, sharing who we are and what we are going through.  Trying to hide who we are, and cut ourselves off from community, hurts like hell.  So why do it, especially about something like weight that’s already out there?

Self-Esteem comes from exploring what is, creating coping skills, living authentically, and having a relationship with ourselves, not our jean size.

Connection comes from being open, vulnerable and real with others.  If we find a way to do this, to be authentic with people who understand our struggle, then the struggle turns into a blessing.

Next time your jean size gets you down, try these idea’s instead of the old familiar negative self-talk and/or searching for way to change yourself.

  • See it as a opportunity for connection.  Reach out to someone you trust and let them into what is going on with you.
  • Look for ways to improve your self-esteem, other than weight loss.
  • Find a community! Check out body positive blogs, groups, articles, Facebook pages, or people to follow on twitter so that you know, and feel, that you aren’t alone.

Maybe, just maybe, if you approach it differently it will actually feel differently too?!

 

 

 

Self-Care: A Helpful Path to Self-Worth

 

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So, as you can tell, lately I’ve been neglecting my poor blog!  Not because I don’t have things to say, but because I have so many things to say I can’t seem to stick with and finish a topic.  The downfall of having your passion, be your work! ;-)

As I blocked out time in my upcoming weekend to tackle a few posts and get organized it got me thinking about self-care, and how it relates to self-esteem.

Self-Care or Selfish?

I know for some people “self care” is a four-letter word (two of them, in fact), but really self-care is a great way to strengthen our self-worth.  I often talk to clients and friends who say putting aside time for themselves feels “selfish” and therefore never do it.  They have a sense of pride that comes from working themselves to the bone on a regular basis.  What’s interesting to me, is these same people tend to have crisis after crisis in their lives and always feel rundown, unorganized, and totally anxious.

It’s not coincidence that this is how their lives unfold.  Never taking time for ourselves is a recipe to living life this way- anxious, stressed out, tired, cranky.

Usually when we explore this concept together they begin to see the pattern and realize that it’s actually their lack of self-worth that keeps them for self-care routines.  In other words, they don’t feel worth the time attention pampering and relaxation that self-care provides.  Sound familiar?

Changing This Pattern

The simplest most direct to begin altering this thought pattern and belief is by changing our intention around self-care.

Instead of doing self-care rituals because we feel worth-it, do them because we want to feel worth-it. If you feel shaky, nervous, or undeserving while brainstorming, scheduling, and/or doing self-care acts remind yourself, “I am doing this so that I will feel better about myself.  This is my path to better self-esteem.”

Also, remember it’s important to take baby steps in setting up self-care routines for yourself, especially if you are new to self-care. And, self-care can be done through the simplest things…

  • Splurge on a wine that’s a touch more expensive than you usually spend
  • Take time to make yourself a yummy cup of tea
  • Relax in a bath with your favorite expensive bath salts
  • Say “no” to just one thing this week.
  • Turn off your computer 20 minutes earlier than usual at night
  • Schedule a massage, acupuncture, mani/pedi
  • Take a long walk WITHOUT your cell phone
  • Treat yourself to a new book, album, movie

It doesn’t matter which you do, as long as you do something, and remind yourself when it feels selfish, “I am doing this to be a better me.  I will have more to give, I will feel better, I will feel worth-it if I do this for myself.”

My Plan

As for me, I am still going to work on some blog posts this weekend BUT I am going to set a timer, and only spend the 2 hours I set aside each day on writing.  With my other 22 hours I am going to walk, picnic, hang with my hubby, grill, sleep, maybe catch a movie and relax so I am refreshed and my best me, for me, and for my clients, next week!