–by Libby Stupica
PUBLICATION DATE: 01.17.17
As the holiday season winds down, things can get a bit melancholy without the twinkling lights and merry holiday tunes everywhere you go. I certainly felt a dip in my mood as my winter break came to a close, especially when my sister went back to school, but my mom seemed to know exactly what to do to keep my spirits up.
We decided to cozy up and watch one of her favorite best-friends movies, Beaches, starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. We ordered Chinese takeout and snuggled up on the couch in front of the crackling fire to spend some mother-daughter time, where a movie that had always been special to my mom became special to me. I even made some tea later in the evening, maximizing the coziness of the night.
I think it’s so important to find ways to keep one’s spirits up during this time of the year. Amidst the grey skies, slushy roads, and barren trees, I often find myself falling into a rut where motivation and excitement are nowhere to be found. However, I’ve noted several fail-proof ways I’ve used to avoid falling into post-holiday blues, or how to pull myself back if I do:
1. Taking a bath. Sometimes I make this a whole occasion and use bubbles, candles, tea, and face masks; however, I don’t always have the time or materials for all of it. Simply filling up the tub and giving myself ten to fifteen minutes of me-time (either in the silence of my own thoughts or listening to my favorite soothing playlist) does wonders when I’m feeling stressed or unmotivated.
2. Getting out of the house (especially to see someone). I have met up with friends at the new King Road library or at the Biggby near my house, because I find it helps me stay focused. My friends and I have also planned several impromptu evenings at the movies, and I have found that just getting out and around people who fuel my soul for one night can really have an impact on my week.
3. Making good food. I don’t mean just good yummy food, but wholesome meals that make me feel strong and healthy. I don’t consider myself to be a chef, but there’s something empowering about getting in the kitchen to concoct a fresh meal, experimenting to make it just what you want. The holidays are filled with delicious food, but often it leaves me feeling lethargic. So, finding food that keeps my mind and body running is key.
4. Setting aside at least one night a week to really focus on self-care. “Pampering” could be another word for it. I make time at least one evening a week to take an extra-long warm shower, put on my softest, cleanest pajamas, light a candle, and read some poetry or a book I normally don’t have the chance to open. These evenings I try to avoid checking emails or social media, and just embrace the moment without letting my constant stressors get in the way. I find it helps to make a list of everything on my mind before starting my pampering session, so I have a clear and happy mindset to truly relax.
5. Making a playlist. I’m not an extremely creative or artistic person, but I find this is a great way to express myself and organize my interests. I collect all the songs that speak to me and often end up categorizing them for different moods or situations. Discovering new music can be so exciting, and after the playlist is made I have something to come back to whenever I’m feeling the way I was when I made it. It’s something that isn’t time consuming and offers a little creative stimulation before tackling a harder task.
6. Finally, I remind myself that the grey skies won’t last forever, and it’s important to make the most of them while they’re here. As the cheer of the holiday season is coming to an end, find a way to keep your spirits up and start the New Year strong!