The big holidays are over, and you’ve got one weekend to relax before it’s time to put your party hat back on and ring in the new year (and whatever whirlwind 2013 is sure to bring!). The holiday season can be a stressful one, even if it is filled with friends, family and good cheer. Take some time this weekend to decompress in your apartment, and start the new year off right!
You have work to do, emails to answer, maps to Google, and presents to return, natch. It’s enough to make your eyeballs burn. Set aside a few minutes each day, away from screens. Watching a favorite TV show might relax you, but keep in mind that your eyes—and brain—could use a break.
For many of us, time spent in nature is rejuvenating. Go to a park, take a walk. Listen to the sounds around you—hopefully they won’t be generators or cars. Taking a short break is better than lamenting that you missed the sunset.
It can be very difficult to maintain your exercise schedule amidst all those holiday obligations; take these next few days to start getting back on track. You’ll sleep better, feel better, and thus be a lot happier going into any potentially stressful situations.
As with exercise, a good diet can go out the window as soon as Christmas cookies come to town. Now is the time to bounce back from indulgence! Some foodies teach that eating vegetables and whole grains keeps your mind much more grounded thansugar, caffeine, and white flour, all of which freak out your body and then your mind.
You hold stress in your body. Stretching releases it—that’s why it can feel awkward or even painful if you’re especially stiff. Commit to stretching a few times each day, if only for a couple minutes. The movements will get easier, and you’ll let go of stored anxiety.
Make time for friends
People with friends are, on average, happier than people who go it alone. Don’t add extra obligations to your long list, but if spending an evening with friends sounds like fun, make time for it. You can all vent about your in-laws.
Not everyone has or wants a spiritual outlet, but if you do, tap into it. It will remind you of the things that really matter in your life—i.e., not whether you bought the perfect gifts for everyone this year.
Take a hot bath
If all else fails, take a bath. Even if you can’t quiet your mind, the hot water will relax your muscles. It’s a good start.