Now that the holiday frenzy is coming to a close, the couch is calling. Netflix marathons are second to none and the surplus of candy, cookies, cakes and confections is hard to resist. Like bears deep in hibernation, we wait for sunny days to call us out of our winter slumber.
If you’re feeling drained, disheveled or downright dreary, don’t worry. Coming down from the holiday high can make us feel a little imbalanced, and it can be tough to resume our regular routines with the same spirit and enthusiasm we only recently reserved for time off, travel and tinsel.
Explore the following six tips to help you restore your pre-winter energy levels amid post-holiday recovery and get back to the business of keeping things running smoothly—or as close to smoothly as possible!
Take it slow
One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork. No one (except perhaps your boss or your 2-year-old) expects you to be Super Mom all day, every day. Resist the urge to be always on and take time to simply be. Take a guilt-free nap, meditate, lock yourself in the bathroom for 30 seconds and just breathe. The more you allow yourself to take time for you, the more likely you are to bring your A-game when it counts.
Drink more water
Half your weight in ounces is a good rule of thumb. This all-too-overlooked elixir works wonders when it comes to maintaining healthy energy levels. Plus, it delivers a host of other benefits. Treat yourself to a water bottle or infuse your liquid magic with cucumber, mint or oranges.
Science says getting outside for a walk can help you sleep better at night, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. And that’s not all: Being in nature also helps eliminate fatigue, reduce stress and improve focus. Who can say no to that?
Call a friend
One of the best ways to lighten our loads is to share them. This sharing doesn’t mean laying all your troubles bare at the checkout counter or venting about your in-laws every chance you get. But keeping all our worries and frustrations tucked away wreaks havoc on our bodies, minds and souls. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or trusted confidante after a particularly rough day. Whether you have an all-night gab fest or simply unload a few anxieties, you’ll feel instant relief at knowing that you’re not alone.
Re-evaluate your routine
As creatures of habit, our bodies and minds can get thrown way out of whack when we don’t give them the predictability they crave. Maintaining a consistent evening routine, sleep and wake time, and work schedule can help you stave off procrastination, get more done, reduce stress and increase relaxation. If the past few weeks have left you feeling jumbled, use these next ones to get back on track. Don’t be afraid to throw in some new rituals, too!
Listen to your gut
Maybe your colleague gets to the office at 6 a.m., but maybe he also has six cups of coffee before he arrives. Maybe your sister runs 5 miles every morning and rescues orphaned cats and dogs in her free time but isn’t facing the same demands as you are as a working parent. Don’t judge yourself against others; judge yourself against yourself. Don’t ignore your internal cues. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, think about where you can cut back, even if only temporarily. If you’re a natural night owl, plan some time to be productive during these hours. Your body knows what it needs. Pay attention to its signals.
Remember, even if it takes some time to get back into your usual groove, your body will thank you for the efforts you make along the way. By the time spring rolls around, you’re certain to have a little more pep in your step. Rise and shine. Today is a new day.
This article originally appeared in Washington FAMILY, a sister publication of Frederick’s Child.