Christmas is over. We’ve had our food, enjoyed our families and friends and exchanged gifts. Hopefully it was a day filled with special memories. After weeks or even months of preparations here we are the day after Christmas amidst empty stockings, torn wrapping paper and cookie crumbs. It can be easy to feel let down.
This year let’s fight the post-holiday blah’s before they hit. Here are 5 ways I’ve found to help move forward and keep my spirits up instead of spiraling into the Christmas letdown.
1. Look Back – Count Your Blessings
Whether your Christmas season met your expectations or not I’m sure there were times of joy and blessings. Taking inventory of some of the highlights of your season can lift your spirits. Consider starting a Christmas Journal this year. Find a blank notebook and jot down some of your favorite memories. Pack it away with your Christmas decorations and pull it out again each year and add to it. Reflect on the memories of the past and record new ones. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t consider yourself a writer. Make a list, write a few sentences or write a story. It’s up to you.
2. Look Forward – Think About Next Year
I don’t mean start thinking about next Christmas (although I have started my shopping already…). One week from today we will be at the start of a new year. A blank slate. Endless opportunities. What are your dreams for that year? Dream those dreams and consider those opportunities. Don’t be afraid to consider something that seems outrageous. There will be time for turning those dreams into goals over the next few weeks. Nothing is off-limits today.
3. Look Inward – Take Some Time For Yourself
You’ve probably been busier than usual the last few weeks doing things that you don’t normally do. You may have gotten less sleep and eaten less healthy than before the Christmas treats started appearing. With all the friends, family, shopping, decorating and entertaining you might have pushed yourself to the bottom of the pile. This is a good time to take at least a few minutes for yourself. Do something you enjoy either alone or with someone you like to spend time with. Read a new book, watch one of your favorite movies or see a new one, maybe take a walk or build a snowman! Even if it’s brief, find some for yourself. Take a deep breath and relax.
4. Look Outward – Don’t Forget Others
The needs around us don’t end at Christmas. Consider lending a hand to take down Christmas decorations for a friend or neighbor. Take some of your leftovers to someone who lives alone. Take advantage of post-Christmas sales to get some gloves, blankets, winter hats or coats to give to a homeless shelter or nursing home. For most of us there is still a long winter ahead. Extending the season of giving can keep our spirits up and remind us of how blessed we are.
5. Look Around You – Consider Your Routine
It is likely you have more parties and events to attend over the next week or so but getting back to your regular routine as soon as possible is important. I know staying up later than usual the past few weeks has kept me from getting up to exercise on my regular schedule. My quiet time was also interrupted some days. Getting back to as much of our routines as we can soon after Christmas begins to regulate our sleep schedules and keep our spirits up.
***Most importantly, keep talking to the Lord!
Keeping the Lord in our days and nights, including Him in our decisions and activities will allow His Spirit to comfort us, guide us and bring us joy long after the trees are down, the lights are off and the long winter settles in.
I hope your Christmas season has been filled with memories new and old and that you will escape the letdown of Christmas this year and remember that there is a year ahead filled with opportunities.
Blessings and peace to you!