Post-holiday fatigue is a very common feeling experienced by many people, but moms are hit the hardest. After weeks of stress and a disrupted routine, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
This can leave us feeling drained of energy and unhappy as we return to our regular routine. Not to worry, this can be fixed with a few simple adjustments that I’ll share with you.
In this post, you’ll find 8 doable tips on how to recover your energy levels and get back on track.
If you’re still feeling post-holiday fatigue, keep reading. Here are 8 ways you can reset after the holidays to restore your mental energy.
1.Get back into a sleep rhythm
It will be difficult to jump from a holiday sleep routine to a regular routine overnight. Force yourself up earlier the next morning so you are tired enough to go to bed earlier in the evening.
If that is a challenge, shift your sleep and wake times to just a few minutes every day or few days until you are back to your preferred sleep schedule.
There are other small tricks that can help if you are struggling to fall asleep. Here are some suggestions to help you find one that might work for you.
- Use soft and dimmed red or amber lights to support your circadian rhythm. No blue lights, or bright lights from screens.
- Keep your phone or other electronics that might turn on with notifications during the night.
- Drink hot tea or a hot bath at the beginning of your evening routine to wind you down.
- Listen to calming (or boring) audio of music or book.
- Light stretching or yoga
Prioritizing sleep is your first step to restoring your energy levels. It regulates your mood, keeps your immune system strong, and it helps you make better decisions.
Don’t sacrifice sleep, make it a priority!
2. Get 1 hour of movement daily
If you’re bogged down by post-holiday fatigue, a surefire way to beat it is exercise or intentional movement. Movement includes any activity that’s not sedentary like sitting in front of a screen.
Exercise promotes good circulation and gives you a boost of energy. This will be helpful if you’ve been sleeping and eating well and still feeling like you’re not at your best.
Light exercises like yoga, stretching, and walking are good choices and still count as exercise.
If you have little children at home and struggle to fit in some exercise, include your kids. For example, make it a game at who can do the most jumping jacks in a minute or do yoga together.
Physical activity has long-term positive impacts on your overall health and well-being. Choose activities that you can look forward to so it’s sustainable.
3. Make small changes to your diet
It’s possible that your eating patterns have changed thanks to the holidays, but don’t worry it’s just temporary.
Enjoying holiday treats is great but it’s best kept to a handful of times per year.
Now that the holidays are over, you can start incorporating foods that will energize and sustain you – most importantly fight fatigue and are healthy nutrient-dense foods.
You might have a lot of leftovers including many holiday cookies, chocolates, etc. Package them and put them in the freezer so you are not tempted to keep eating them.
If you know someone who would appreciate the treats, package up and give them away.
Now that the temptations are gone. Make a shopping list that includes energy-boosting foods.
Here are some examples:
- Complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, and oats.
- Veggies and Fruits: berries, and greens.
- Healthy fats from nuts, fish, and avocado.
- Lean protein: eggs, chicken, turkey, fish.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
4. Do a digital detox
A detox from technology doesn’t mean you completely unplug from it.
It is about making small changes in your behavior, with the goal of restoring and conserving your mental energy.
During the holidays you were likely using your phone and/or computer more than you normally would. If you didn’t, good for you! But if you are like most during this season, it was difficult to pull away from it.
Taking a break from devices and digital distractions is an effective way to relax and recharge your mind. It’s an opportunity to remain mindful in our own space and reflect on what matters most in life without interruption.
When you feel the urge to pick up your phone and scroll, ask yourself why. Is your need for the phone urgent and important?
If it’s not, change the habit. You can do this by picking up a physical book to read, or a journal to write in.
It doesn’t have to be what I suggested. Choose an activity that’s easy and accessible so there’s no excuse not to do it.
In time, your dependency on devices will lessen and you will feel better.
A digital detox allows you to discover where your focus should go which keeps you energized, and optimistic and sets you up for healthier habits.
5. Make small adjustments to your schedule
The holidays are over, but the post-holiday stress can linger. It’s normal to feel exhausted with the desire to quickly catch up on lost time, but don’t let that lead you into an unmanageable schedule.
Trying to pack a bunch of tasks into your schedule will only lead to more fatigue and anxiety as your body struggles to keep up with the demands.
Your routine may have been disrupted during the holiday season, so find ways to ease back into it gradually.
Prioritize tasks that will bring you closer to your goals and be mindful of how much energy you need for each task.
Setting realistic expectations is necessary; if things take longer than expected, give yourself grace instead of trying to squeeze in another activity or task.
Take breaks when needed; if possible, even schedule regular rest times throughout the day or week. Self-care needs to be what you schedule in your calendar first.
Remind yourself that you will catch up, but not at the expense of your mental health.
6. Spend less time with others (briefly)
Spending less time with others for a few days to recover from post-holiday fatigue is not being anti-social. I don’t recommend you isolate yourself.
It is the intentional break from social interactions that will prevent you from recovering from post-holiday fatigue.
You’re tapped out after weeks of many holiday events from family, friends, work, and community.
You’re tapped out from being in the chaos of the shopping mall looking for the right gift and all the drama that happens during this time of year.
It’s okay to limit your social time for a few days until you can regain your mental energy.
If you have friends or family that are demanding your time, let them know that you are taking time to recharge or taking time for yourself.
Most people understand this and maybe you will inspire them to do the same.
There will always be someone that doesn’t respect your needs and might keep asking.
If you have to, you can simply say that you are tied up with a project that requires more of your time. Or that you are taking a short trip and won’t be around for a few days.
You don’t need to give more details than necessary. Let them know that you will catch up with them after a week or two.
7. Simplify your routine
The post-holiday season can be a time of exhaustion, stress, and uncertainty.
After all the celebrations and festivities, it’s only natural to start feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.
The best way to keep your sanity during this period is to simplify your routine.
A simplified routine can help bring your life back in order after the chaos of the holidays.
Rather than adding more tasks that may cause additional stress, focus on what you need to stay organized and energized throughout the day.
It could include setting aside dedicated time for yourself to relax and recharge, developing healthier eating habits, and getting enough sleep each night.
By simplifying your daily activities and focusing on priorities like self-care, you will be able to manage your post-holiday fatigue in a much better way without overwhelming yourself.
It can be easy to overwhelm yourself with too many tasks in your day-to-day life, but there are ways to make it easier.
Three tips that can help simplify your routine:
- Set boundaries: Just like with digital devices, setting limits with tasks and even people will keep your routine clear and free of distractions.
- Prioritize: When you stick to the stuff that matters to you, it’s just easier. Always choose Important and urgent over what is not.
- Break tasks into small chunks: It can get complicated quickly if you try to do too much which can be discouraging. Break large projects into smaller bits so it’s easier to tackle. These are also called small or quick wins which are coming up next.
Where almost wrapping it up to leave with you is the last thing you can do to get over the post-holiday fatigue.
6. Give yourself a boost with small wins
A small win (or quick win) can be any task that you can achieve quickly, giving you a feeling of success and accomplishment. Because it’s small, it’s easy to do and doesn’t drain too much energy to achieve.
If trying to get back on track is too overwhelming, start with quick wins tasks.
What are some small, quick-win tasks you can do? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Tip for quick win task success: limit the tasks to no more than 30-60 minutes each. Some can be as short as 5 minutes.
- Clean one junk drawer.
- Clear the kitchen counter of clutter.
- Create a collage with Canva with your recent holiday pictures.
- Create a plan for the month of January.
- Clean up your inbox
- Clean up your desk.
- Shred old papers and documents you no longer need.
- Build a meal plan for a month.
- Create a chores checklist with Canva
- Create a post-holiday budget for the rest of the season.
There are many more quick-win tasks you can do, just remember to keep them under an hour so they are easy to achieve.
The goal of quick wins is achieving a task with less time and effort while making an impact.
You conserve energy by getting tasks done that don’t take up a lot of time which keeps the motivation going and gives you satisfaction for completing it.
Just because post-holiday fatigue is common doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. You now have 8 doable steps to overcoming this yearly event.
Get back into a healthy sleep routine, keep moving, eat nutritious food, give yourself a digital detox, make some smart changes to your schedule, simplify your routines, and don’t forget the quick wins.
How have you been coping post-holidays? Help a fellow mom out and share in the comments how you effectively reclaim your energy balance post-holiday.