The holidays are over! You’ve had time off, eaten and been merry. And with the dawning of a new year, it’s time to return to reality.
The year-end holidays are particularly difficult to get over. The entire year seems to culminate in a frenzy of festivities, new year resolutions, clearing annual leave, taking the family on holiday and realising that another year has passed so quickly. The first week of January is when we return to work, children start school and we begin the process of getting back into our usual routine. This is where the problem lies – that initial few days of trying to kickstart life. Waking up early, preparing meals, going back to the gym, starting a new job or project, planning for the year ahead can seem daunting after the frivolity of the holiday season.
Here are five easy tips to ease your way into the new year.
Have a positive attitude
Make a plan if this is what works for you, e.g. on the last day of the holiday, write a list of what you want to do the first week you’re back to reality. Make sure the list is doable and don’t set impossible expectations. You may also have new year resolutions so make sure you’re in a good place, well rested and ready to accept that it may not go to plan immediately but it will work out if you want it to.
Get into a fitness routine
One of the hardest things to do after the holidays is to get (back) into a regular fitness routine. There are those that are raring to hit the gym or start training for some sporting event; but most of us need to be motivated. Think about the benefits, remember how healthy you felt when you were regularly exercising and accept the reality that if you don’t move, you’ll feel lethargic and unhealthy. Doing something first thing in the morning will set you up for the day and leave you more time to unwind in the evening.
Don’t let the in box rule your life
There was a time when people shut off from work as soon as they left the office. Then we became so technologically inclined and over-connected, which has many benefits but also means that we are constantly checking emails and messages. Having this incessant access to the office is useful as we can work remotely, have open communication and deal with decisions on the go. Learn how to draw the line though and don’t become one of those who checks emails right before sleeping, first thing in the morning and in the toilet!
Over indulgence is the norm during the year end festivities - we understand and have been there too. All those parties, wonderful food and the company of family and friends is exactly what holidays should be about. It’s advisable to get back to eating healthily as soon as your normal routine begins. That breakfast buffet was amazing but all those pancakes and double servings of nasi lemak will creep up on you. Make a meal plan for the first weeks in January to ease you into eating healthily. This is also a good time to reassess how you want to eat for the year, e.g. become more plant-based, cut down on eating out and cook more at home.
The National Sleep Foundation is a non-profit organisation focusing on all aspects of sleep and it recommends that adults aged 18-64 need seven to nine hours of sleep daily to function well. The holidays can disrupt normal sleep patterns so it’s important to get back into a good bedtime routine (especially for those with children). Feeling tired first thing in the morning or sleepy after lunch is detrimental to work efficiency, and can cause health and mental problems in the long run.
Get back into your daily routine as quickly as possible after a break so you can feel good, work well, stay fit and plan your next holiday!