Getting Back After the Holidays – How to Do It

Posted January 8, 2014 by Rebecca Niziol in On the Ladder
back to work

After a couple weeks, or even a couple days, off for the holiday break it can be confusing, arduous, and draining trying to navigate returning to some remnants of a normal schedule. Throw some traveling, extra pounds, and weird sleep schedules in the mix and you’ve got yourself into the doozy that is the first week of January.

At a time when we’re expected to kick things off full throttle,  we sometimes operate far from expectation (which can make you feel worse). Instead of coming back blazing with goals dripping out of our pores and a new years resolution that we promise will last past February, we grudgingly re-enter the gym and office and pack our pretty little holidays spirits back into the far corner of our closets for next year.

If you’re feeling not quite like yourself, lacking inspiration, or dreaming of an extra week of vacation try on some of these suggestions for size.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed…

Welcome to the club! The new year often rolls in gloriously with confetti and champagne, and then when we wake up the next morning the pressure hits us. There’s suddenly so much to do… weight to lose, adventures to be planned, goals to be re-worked not to mention achieved.

Slip on this mindset: “I can do it all, just not at once.” Take things one step, one day, one nap at a time. You don’t have to have every single thing organized right at the get go. Slow down these first couple weeks of January. If you remember the year is more like a marathon than a sprint you’ll expend your energy accordingly. Pick ONE project to start with. Spend January getting organized and prepared. Scale back instead of adding more. This year try the less is more mentality.

If you’re feeling underwhelmed…

Welcome to the other club! After all the excitement, busyness, and amalgamation of friends and family during the holidays it makes sense that you might be hitting a low. When we’re under a lot of pressure (read: making your year end quotas or getting presents under the tree for everyone in your family), your system pumps extra adrenaline to keep you going. Those little adrenal glands can only pump for so long before they tire out, so you might be at a physical low.

Now would a be a great time to reconnect to your underlying drivers: your mission, purpose, or values. When you remember WHY you are doing what you’re doing you’ll feel a surge of inspiration. And if you can no longer remember why, well um, now would be a fantastic time to re-work some parts of your life so you’re taking action on things you actually care about rather than going through the motions for another year.

If you don’t feel like yourself… 

That’s totally normal. For one, you just mashed yourself into all sorts of holiday gatherings and intimate family moments, so you probably didn’t have as much alone time as you usually do. Plus, any routine or schedule you typically keep was probably thrown out the window for the last week or so. Either way, this is a time of year where we naturally re-evaluate who we are, who we are being (stressed out crazy person?), and who we want to be.

When in a state of personal flux, step into new shoes (literally or figuratively) for some grounding. Sometimes it’s as simple as a mini makeover. Get yourself to those post-holiday sales and make over your look so it reflects who you are today. Or try out a new club, hobby, or routine. Establish some sort of new normal for yourself that feels authentic and exciting. Plant yourself into groups of people that make you feel good, and commit to doing only things that honor what you love.

If you feel lost…

You’re going to hate me for saying this, but let yourself wander for a bit. Being “off track” for a short period of time isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s often when we learn the most about ourselves and the world around us. It’s when risks are taken, lessons are learned, and we start to look beyond the day to day aspects of life.

Consider taking or planning a vacation to let yourself explore. Dreaming of hiking Machu Picchu? Wanting to backpack Europe for a couple weeks or final get certified in scuba diving in Bora Bora? Do it. Especially if this is a time when you’re not locked into a crazy schedule or care taking for kids or family members. Can’t afford to get away financially or due to commitments? Give yourself a play day to go wild and explore the city you’re in. Don’t make any plans, and just let your heart lead you wherever it wants to do for the day.

Instead of getting back, move forward. Let go of what happened in 2013, you’re not going in that direction.  You don’t need to be who you were last year. You don’t need to return to the same habits or routines. You don’t need to be the old you, become the new you. Gracefully accept this new year and all the possibility that comes with it, and then forgive yourself for being less than perfect and enjoy the crazy ride.

About the Author

Rebecca Niziol

Rebecca Niziol, ELI-MP, is many things: a life coach, yoga teacher, dancer, event planner, connection catalyst, and your new best friend. Her mission is to empower others to live the authentic life of their dreams. After years of traveling North America and Europe, she is happy to have found a home and community in Chicago.