Wednesday, December 27, 2017

5 Self-Care Tips: Beating the After-Holiday Blahs

So it's over! You made it through the family get-togethers! Meals were made and eaten, presents were wrapped at the last minute, and now you finally get a full night's sleep.

What now?

Well if you're anything like me, the days after Christmas can be difficult to navigate through. The lack of structure, the chaos of the event, and the financial worry from going a bit overboard can seep in and grab ahold of my anxiety. It also doesn't help that I miss my Cali family so much this time of year.

These feelings can turn the hopes of a productive break into one that leaves me unsettled and feeling like I "wasted" it when I get back. There's nothing wrong with taking time off, watching some Netflix, and letting the to-do list wait. There is something wrong with feeling so overwhelmed that you do nothing, and continue to do nothing in the hopes of avoiding everything.

To combat this, I practice something called self-care. The good thing about self-care is that it doesn't have to cost a thing, because it's more of a mental shift. Rather than fall into the void, you make the effort to do one thing. That one thing can vary from person to person, but tends to lead to doing one more thing, then another. My 5 self-care tips that help me get focused and let go of anxiety are:

1. Take a shower. 

Yes, I understand that it seems simple. Again it's a mental shift, for me taking a shower usually means I'm getting ready for the day. It forces me to do my hair afterward, and while I'm there I tend to do my makeup too. I put on real clothes. It's a small, intentional step that helps me get back to a better mental headspace.

2. Drink water.

Again simple, but I feel so much better when I intentionally drink water. When I start to feel anxious, adding coffee to it can make that jittery feeling more intense. I can also feel panicky because I still don't have the drive to do something, but I have an increased heart rate that makes me feel like I need to be doing something. It's not a fun feeling, and doesn't help me get moving.

3. Get dressed.

Real clothes. Do your hair. Put make-up on if you feel like it. Again, it's simple, but it goes back to the intent behind it. When I feel like I'm getting lost into the abyss, getting dressed helps me recenter. I love a good pajama day, and days when I don't have to put in a ton of effort. These days are not the same. It's less about relaxing and more about giving up. On those days, I need to put on real clothes.

4. Go outside.

Take the dogs out. Walk with a family member around the block. Sometimes it's enough to just get out of the door and away from the walls that both protect and smother you. If it's cold, rainy, miserable- you don't have to be out for long. Just long enough to have left the walls for a bit.

5. Pick one thing.

This is intentionally vague, because the abyss can vary from person to person. Pick something that you feel needs to be done. One, small thing on that list in your head. Maybe it's taking the tree down, getting the dishwasher unloaded, folding a basket of laundry. Something, but not everything. Your one thing isn't "do the laundry," that's too broad. As we know, laundry is never really "done," so rather than help your anxiety, this will leave you feeling like you still have that mountain to climb. Specific, attainable things such as "fold the basket of laundry by the steps," "unload or load the dishwasher," and "take out the overflowing trash" can be completed. It can be scratched off the list. You can go back to the couch sit once it's done.

Then drink some water and, if you can, pick one more thing.

Hopefully by doing the 5 steps, you start to feel less anxious, and at the same time start taking steps to get rid of the things causing anxiety. You may be able to get many "one things" done in a day and start to feel like you're back in control. You may just get the "one thing" done. That's okay too. You can try again tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Web Statistics