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Congratulations you survived another holiday season! Finally all the shopping, preparing, rushing, cooking, cleaning, and everything else is either done or winding down. But unfortunately sometimes the holidays ending doesn’t reduce stress… Sometimes we feel more anxious and discouraged having to face the coming year.
You may have spent the last weeks (or possibly months) gearing up for the holiday season. But now what? It might not be shocking to see about a million things that need to be done, decisions that need to be made, and many other things. None of which are probably things we are eager to do.
Here are some tips to help you beat those blues and cope with that holiday hangover!
1. Relax – Yup, you read that right. Relax, take a deep breath, and just let yourself BE.
Ask yourself, “Do I really need to get everything done this second?”
Sometimes, when I'm feeling super stressed and pressured I need to stop myself and think, “Are any of these decisions life threatening?” Chances are your world won't come to a crashing halt if it takes you an extra day or two to take down the Christmas decorations. It might not hurt your quality of life if you wait an extra week to bag up clothes to donate or sell.
Obviously sometimes having our homes clean and put back together can go a long way to help us relax. But NOT if it adds additional and unnecessary stress. Think about what needs to be done and, if nothing is pressing, take a day to sleep in. Spend time with your family. Enjoy life. You may find you'll feel more more prepared to handle the aftermath of the holidays.
2. To-Do lists
I'm going to be completely honest. I have a love/hate relationship with to-do lists. To-Do lists can be AWESOME but they can cause a lot of anxiety. Somehow, having these items written down makes it so vitally important and crucial. It can even add an unneeded sense of urgency. Urgency can add stress and anxiety and it seems like there is certainly enough of this going around!
However, a to-do list helps us focus and prioritize. After the holidays there are so many things we need to take care of, so many things to remember. A to-do list can really help you get your head on straight and get yourself focused.
Keep your to-do list manageable and not overwhelming. You've just survived one of the more stressful times of the year. Let's keep things simple. Make your to-do lists short term. What do you need to get done in the coming week? What do you WANT to get done in the next week?
One way we go wrong with to-do lists is ignore the difference between wants and needs. If we wrote down everything we would like to do AND everything we have to do, our list would be a mile and a half long. It wouldn't be encouraging and I tend to get reluctant to work on my to-do lists when they seem longer than my arm. Start small and move up.
Did you just cringe when you read this? This is probably one of the most stressful parts of our life under the best of circumstances… but now? After we just spent a good amount of money (probably) on gifts, food, and other expenses. Well most of us don't want to even THINK about our budget, let alone see how we did.
Here's the thing to remember though: Even if you ‘blew' your budget, don't give up!
We all get carried away. You won't do yourself any favors by throwing out the idea of a budget altogether.
Here's another thing to remember, and this one is more ‘tough love'. You HAVE to sit down and look at your budget and plan accordingly for the coming year. That's right. Even if you feel like you failed. You need to make yourself accountable.
The new year is only the beginning. You have plenty of time to get your finances back on track! Plus, by getting a budget plan back in place you may find that your head is back in the game and you are ready to have a great year.
This is why I developed the free Financial Renovation mini-course! It starts on January 1st and is a 4 video mini course designed to teach you how to budget and make it work this year.
4. Set Goals
You might wonder how this is so different from getting your to-do lists under control. Goals are crucial because they help us plan our decisions for the upcoming future. Having clear goals can be such a relief in many ways. Similar to how creating a budget can be a monumentally important first step in getting control of your finances, creating goals can be a great first step in getting control over the stress and uncertainty of your future.
Goals don't need to fit any particular criteria, they just need to fit what you are looking for. For example many people love having super specific goals because that's what works for them. It's not wrong to have more vague goals, so long as it keeps you focused. Your goals can be as simple as creating a chore routine, having a weekly (or bi-weekly) grocery budget, saving a certain amount of money per month, spending more time as a family, etc.
The key is that your goals not be overwhelming and be measurable. If your goal can't be measured, how can you know if you were successful? Obviously, if you can be sure you are succeeding then you feel feel more confident and hopefully more able to move forward.
5. Don't Give Up!
Something I think people struggle with after the holidays is a feeling of hopelessness and discouragement. The new year is just getting started. You can have a successful year!
Remember all the things you have accomplished, learn from your mistakes, and grow. You can achieve your goals and I hope to help you on your journey.
I hope that this after holiday lull hasn't left you feeling defeated and discouraged. Let's get out of that holiday hangover funk and get back on track to make 2016 an awesome year!
Remember, sign up for my free Financial Renovation mini course starting on January 1st!