Healing Post-Holiday Angst

This time of year often comes with a case of the “Mondays” on repeat. As the New Year passes, you may mourn the relaxed holiday ambiance as you feel the need to face reality. Whether it’s the lack of twinkling Christmas lights, or the sugar high of holiday cookies is finally wearing off, you may be feeling a little lack luster.It is common to use the holidays as a reason to deviate from your normal routine, or indulge more than usual. You may find yourself feeling remorseful about “falling off track”. As seen in the recent Starwars: The Last Jedi, you might relate to that push and pull, to and from, “the dark side.” You may be feeling compelled to commit to a New Year’s resolution but once again pulled back to habits you’ve been trying hard to extinguish. Perhaps your goal is to be more active or eat fewer sweets, but you continue to feel the call to your couch and to cookies.Whether this is the case for you or not, I encourage you to use this time to show yourself compassion.Whether you’re feeling the pull to your dark side or a case of post-holiday angst, I encourage you to take an alternative approach this year. Don’t force yourself into habits you aren’t ready to commit to. Rather, use the challenges that arise as an opportunity to learn more about yourself.Take note of not only what is hard to change, but more importantly why. What is getting in the way of your best self? Is it your overly busy schedule? Your lack of sleep that leaves you unrested? Or, perhaps an emotional attachment to food you didn’t realize? Get to know your dark side, so you may help guide yourself to the light.Here are some ideas:

  • Think positively about the changes you wish for yourself and the benefits you’ll see in your health from them.
  • Focus on the vibrant feeling of health you’ll achieve from lifestyle changes rather than striving for an idealized number on the scale.
  • Remind yourself, you are allowed to sit on the couch and eat cookies but you choose not to do this very often because you know you feel your best-self when you’re more active and nourish yourself well.
  • Rather than beating yourself up over the “mistakes” made over the holiday season, take time to better understand your challenges and how you can support them in the future.

This New Year, choose to show yourself some compassion. To make successful changes you must first acknowledge and accept challenges as legitimate and appreciate what they can teach you about yourself.~Katie Lehn, RD