Mental Wellness – Holiday Burnout Edition

Returning to Your Daily Routines After the Holidays

The Coronavirus casted a shadow over the holidays this year – limiting in-person interactions to virtual or small gatherings, and even halted travel plans for some families. Some parents were even faced with the challenge of still creating joy and magic for their little ones on a tight budget due to layoffs. Parents, you did it! You made it through the holidays! But, now you’re drained and having a hard time getting back into the routine of your daily lives. It is important to start off the new year without stress and to reset your mind and body. Try these tips to reset your daily life and routines to get back on track.

Create A To-Do List 

You wake up in the morning and there are a million things to get done on your to-do list. Taking down the Christmas decorations, cleaning out the refrigerator, getting the kids ready for school – the list goes on! The first step is writing everything down. Creating a to-do list can help clear your mind and provide guidance on how to get each task done.

Move Your Body 

During the holidays, we all tend to indulge in all of our guilty pleasures. Did you and your kids make cookies for Santa, or have a gingerbread house contest? While those traditions bring about joy and memories for years to come, you probably didn’t get out and move as much as you wish you would have. Gentle exercises like Yoga, Pilates, stretching, or taking a gentle walk going at your own pace can help you reset your body. You might choose to go for a long walk but even a few minutes of walking can help you feel more relaxed. Exercising regularly can improve your mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and improving self-esteem and cognitive function. 

Sleep At Least 8 Hours

Holidays tend to bring lots of joy and fun to families. As a parent, we love watching our kids wake up early on Christmas day to open presents, and staying up all night playing with the toys they received. Not wanting to miss a moment, we often sacrifice sleep to play with the kids or finish up chores. Sleep affects both mental and physical health. When you’re tired, you can’t function at your best. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes, and focus better. Try these steps to make sure you regularly get a good night’s sleep:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning
  • Sleep in a dark quiet and comfortable environment
  • Relax and limit the use of your electronics before bed

Deep Breathing 

Are you overwhelmed even thinking about trying to get your household back on track? Deep breathing exercises can help calm your mind and body. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress. Learning to breathe more deeply will help you feel a lot calmer and increase your sense of well-being. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Place your hand on your stomach, it should rise as you breathe. Check out this video on deep breathing exercises to help you get started! 

Spend Time in Nature

Spending time outside in green spaces can be great for your physical and mental well-being. It’s okay to take a moment for yourself to reset before tackling your responsibilities. You could go for a walk on a nature trail, through a local park, or even through your neighborhood. Just taking time to notice the trees, flowers, plants, and animals you see on the way can help your mental wellness.

As a parent, if you aren’t cared for, your children aren’t receiving you at your best. Take time to reset and improve your mental wellness. The holidays can throw a wrench into your family’s normal routine, now’s the time to take back control over your daily lives!

Links to Resources: 

Exercise and Mental Wellness

Deep Breathing Video

Sleep and Mental Wellness