Don’t enter the new year experiencing the post-holiday blues. The lights and trees may be gone, but the joy could still be there.

January, after all, is the first month of the year, and a chance for a clean slate, an opportunity to embrace change–mentally and physically. Embrace this possibility and make 2020 the beginning of a better you.

One new step at a time

Yes, you could “fake it till you make it”, but don’t rely on automatically waking up with a chipper demeanor. Establish smaller goals and lifestyle adjustments that put you on the right track and make you genuinely happy. And remember, it takes time to alter the mind and mood. As setbacks happen, look forward and keep these game-changers in mind.

Ways to kill those post-holiday blues

1. Go hiking/go camping

I know the weather may still be a bit cold…well, maybe it’s still really frosty out there. However, if you live in a warmer area, or if you don’t mind dressing for winter camping or a winter hike, this is a great way to start off the new year. Why?

Even though it’s hard to get outdoors in the gloomy winter months, it’s exactly what you need to do. If you go hiking during this time, you will gain much of the warmth you need to endure what you’re doing. I remember walking almost 5 miles a few weeks ago, and after going so far, I was warm enough to feel comfortable.

If you’re camping, just grab some firewood and stoke up your campsite. You’ll be toasty in no time and dreaming about what this near year will bring.

2. Add Yoga

Relaxing in this fast-paced world is hard. Yoga teaches you about the art of seeing life in a calm manner and in the present time alone. Using deep breathing and flexibility, the mind and body release the stress of the day.

Sign up for a class and adopt the art of peace and tranquility. When your nagging thoughts begin to send your heart rate high, step back and remember the techniques. Learn to compartmentalize your negative thoughts, so they might not haunt you.

3. Increase Exercise

Moving actually changes the chemical reactions of the body. Whether you walk, jog or ride a bike, the act affects how you feel. Exerciseimpacts the production of serotonin. As the levels build, people find it easier to sleep and may experience less agitation.

In addition, the workout often improves muscle and aids in shedding some unwanted pounds. Those transformations matter for body image. If you’ve been disappointed in your appearance, you may find yourself suddenly pleased. You’ll also receive a nice boost in energy as well.

4. Join a Group

Feeling connected could improve your self-esteem. Friendship means acceptance, and it fights loneliness. No, you won’t suddenly become popular; however, find a circle that embraces your hobbies or interests.

That may mean attending a book club, finding an art class, or taking up jogging. Whatever it is, the activity serves two purposes: You’ll stay busy, and you might locate others who think like you. And that last part is more important than you think.

5. Use Probiotics

It’s time to improve your health inside too. The gut-mind relationship is real. Proponents of the leaky gut theory believe that when the stomach is compromised, healthy bacteria leak out, preventing the body from receiving the proper nutrition.

That loss essentially hurts mentality, exacerbating poor feelings and increasing sadness and nervousness. Strive to eat well, and balance the bacteria in your belly. Several foods may assist you in rebuilding your health. Look for items such as yogurt and kefir. Both offer high doses of probiotics.

For some though, a probiotic may be needed to replenish extremely low levels of beneficial microbes, helping your tummy lining heal and also improving how you feel.

6. Put Away the Screen

More and more evidence points toward too much screen time as a source of irritability and distress. The light from these objects messes with the neurons, disturbing serotonin levels.

Too much of it could increase alertness and annoyance. In fact, that’s why you shouldn’t leave the television on during sleep or use electronics close to bedtime. Put it aside, and set a goal to decrease how often you use it.

7. Get rid of baggage

This suggestion might not sound too nice, but I’m going to say it anyway. Some of the people who went through 2019 with you, do not need to follow you into 2020. If you’ve noticed bad relations getting worse from the beginning of the year until now, it might be time to cut ties with some of your friends or maybe a love interest.

This move could be the hardest one you’ve ever made, but it could also be the change that improves your life dramatically. Especially if this particular person is adding more pain than happiness in your life. I hate to call them baggage, but if they’re weighing you down, you got to unpack them and put them away.

8. Go for a makeover

I know it’s kind of cheesy, but makeovers can be refreshing for the new year. Something like a drastic haircut, a new wardrobe, or an entire change from head to toe can be just what you need to chase away the post-holiday blues.

If you want to have even more fun, and you’ve met a group of new friends, you can all make some changes. January can be the month of the new you, and your new friends. After the makeover, you can even celebrate by going out on the town to enjoy your new look. Go ahead, enjoy the looks you get too.

9. Visit old friends

Remember those friends from school or the ones you just lost contact with during life’s changes, yeah those. This new year is the best time to reconnect with old friends. Most of the time, the best friends from the past, when seeing you again, will feel as if you’ve never been apart.

I have a best friend who I’ve not seen in over two years, but every time we see each other it’s like we’ve never been apart. Friends like that are irreplaceable, so to chase away post-holiday blues, go spend some time with those old friends.

10. Adopt a pet

Only, and I mean ONLY if you like animals, consider adopting a pet this new year. There are so many dogs, cats, and other small animals who need a home badly. You could provide them with a home, and they could offer a warmth of their own.

Especially, if you’ve made other changes in your life, a pet may offer companionship that you need most to start the new year. Remember, pets are also therapeutic.

Come on! Let’s chase away those post-holiday blues

Step forward this winter. Yes, this is the year that you could find yourself accepting the brighter side to life. It may mean a few bumps in the road but you can persevere. Adopting a new mindset requires time and effort, but it’s worth it. If you’re strong, determined, and ready for a change, happier moments are waiting for you.

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