From Halloween to New Year’s Day, the weeks are filled with magic, warmth, friends, and family. The holidays bring joy to the lives of many. It feels good to be invited to parties, share meals with family, and embrace the role of “Santa’s helper” for little ones.
Between October and January, we embark on a sixty-day dopamine rush. Many people experience an emotional (and maybe literal) hangover on January 1. This sadness is referred to as the ‘post-holiday blues.’
10 Tips for a Healthy Body and Mind
Some studies have shown that daily exercise can ease the symptoms of mild depression. If you don’t want to wake up at 5 and embark on a 3-mile run in the dead of winter, we don’t blame you. Start small with a brisk walk around the block or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
2. Eat Your Veggies
After months of binging on sugar and imbibing at parties, your body will appreciate a healthy change. Incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet will make you feel lighter and energized. Dark leafy greens, berries, and avocados are considered natural mood-boosters.
3. Make Plans
When your social calendar is wide open, it can feel like there is nothing to look forward to. Reach out to your friends and make plans. Go out for lunch, attend a local trivia night, or go to a movie. Warm up your winter with cozy gatherings after the holidays.
4. Call Your Family
The holidays are sometimes the only occasions where we see our extended family. We feel a sense of belonging when we spend time with our loved ones. Don’t wait to reconnect. Pick up the phone and keep the love and laughter going through the New Year.
5. Get Outside
Winter is cold, but a brisk walk during the sunnier hours will lift your spirits. The sun is a source of vitamin D, a key ingredient in the cure for the ‘blues.’ Consider taking a quick stroll during your lunch break in the afternoon, when it’s slightly warmer. The fresh winter air is invigorating.
6. Keep the Sparkle
Missing the festive holiday decor? Tinsel and twinkle lights? If your home feels dark and bare, consider adding a few candles, tea lights, or a lamp to a dark corner. A little sparkle will make your home feel cozy and warm for the remainder of winter.
The act of giving someone a gift releases dopamine, the ‘feel good’ hormone. Get your ‘feel good’ fix in a less expensive way by volunteering at an organization that means a lot to you. You will feel good for supporting your community and will make new friends in the process.
8. Cook for Friends
During the holiday season we attend a number of dinners and celebratory feasts. You don’t have to wait a full year to host a dinner party. Whip up something simple and invite friends to share a meal and a laugh.
9. Don’t Isolate Yourself
Once the holidays are over and you’re back to the grind, it’s easy to become a hermit in the winter. Don’t spend weekend after weekend cooped up in your house. If you can’t make plans with others, go see a movie alone or read a book in a busy coffee shop. Just being around other people is comforting.
10. Try Meditation
Most people will start the New Year with a resolution to “be healthy.” Sometimes this popular resolution is tied to changes in eating habits, exercise, or weight loss goals. Rarely do we meet individuals seeking exercise for their mind.
According to Psychology Today, meditation is a therapy for the ‘blues’ that can be more effective than expensive drugs, without the harmful side effects. When we’re in a funk, we often brood and reflect on everything that isn’t “going right.” Mindfulness meditation combines Eastern meditation with Western cognitive therapy to teach people how to break the cycle of their negative thought patterns. Learning to meditate could be the healthy change you need in 2018.
To learn more about AVS Mindfulness and the release of our instructional mindfulness meditation app, visit us at avsmindfulness.com.