After all the gifts have all been opened and the mess cleaned up, it’s possible to get a feeling of let-down, whether or not you had a great time and got good gifts.
There is such an almost continuous adrenaline rush from Thanksgiving leading up to the religious holidays much of the world celebrates at year’s end. There was much shopping to be done, gifts to buy, meals to prepare, greeting cards to send, work-related holiday parties, family stuff, holiday cheer and gift exchanges with friends, trying to get all the work done at the office before the office is closed for the holidays…Whether you floated through all this with a joyful “Christmas spirit” or felt mega-stressed-out, there is suddenly a huge lull in activity post-Christmas. It’s as if life comes to a screeching halt, and it’s possible to even feel a bit blue.
Here are some activities you may wish to pursue to lose the blues:
- Play with your toys — whether that be setting up new electronics, having a spa day at home with all the bath and beauty products you may have received or wearing new clothes and accessories. Whether or not Santa brought you what you wanted, putting what you did receive into play will bless you with a sense of appreciation.
- As for those gifts you don’t want, now is the time to go out and exchange them. The stores start hosting sales immediately after Christmas, so this is a great time to get out there and exchange those gifts. Don’t hesitate; you’ll feel much better after you do this; a feeling of relief will come over you, because now you will have something new that suits you.
- This is a great time, in any case, while prices are slashed, to go shopping. Take advantage of post-holiday sales. If you got gift cards, they’ll stretch further now. Even if you didn’t, you’ll score at the stores.
- Go into the office and work on the days that most people don’t. You’ll get more done when the phones aren’t ringing and emails flooding in. You can catch up and accomplish stuff before the new year business thrust starts and get set up for the new year.
- Most towns leave up their decorations into the new year. If you were too busy to enjoy all the seasonal sights before, now you can do so at your leisure. Chicago, for example, is aglow in lights and decor. Check out Macy’s famous windows, stroll past the magnificent Art Institute lion statues donned with gigantic wreaths. Check out the pretty decorations in malls like Water Tower Place, The Shops at Northbridge, Block 37. There is so much to see in your free time, plus this is a good way to get some exercise – but bundle up properly and commute safely in this extreme cold we’re experiencing!
- Chicago and can feel like a ghost town at this time – except in Millennium Park which I hear is absolutely bustling today. Most cities probably feel like ghost towns at this time with many out of town. It’s an ideal good time to try a new restaurant. You won’t have to fight the crowds and feel squeezed into a noisy establishment; instead you can relax comfortably and get personalized service. Proprietors will appreciate the business during this slower season.
- To really spice up this time of year, why not try one thing you haven’t done before. How about ice skating. Or visiting the top of the top of two of the tallest buildings in the world: the John Hancock and Willis Tower.
- Make plans for New Year’s Eve if you haven’t already and devote a couple of days to prep for it. Find out what your friends are planning; maybe you can join them. Check out local Facebook Tap into Metromix or local sites like Chicago Loop Alliance to find out what’s going on in your area.
- Buy yourself a great outfit and treat yourself to some professional grooming at your local salon to get dolled up for your New Year’s Eve event of choice. Do this even if you decide to stay in for New Year’s Eve so that you can enter the new year looking good.
- We’re all acquainted with the concept of spring cleaning. Do some winter cleaning while it’s cold out to get a jump on it. Clear out and organize that back closet or those drawers or cabinets, throwing out and giving stuff away. You’ll feel lighter. What could be better than starting your new year with a sparkling clean home.
- Use this quieter week of the year to get back in touch with those with whom you may have fallen out of contact. Find and friend them on Facebook. Send new year greetings, maybe even hand-written notes by mail. Someone may be thinking of you – here’s a quaint idea: Call them!
- Take the time to reflect on the year: Get out your journal if you kept one, analyze lessons learned, dive into your psyche, go ahead and cry one last time, chuckle at the funny parts, let yourself get spiritual with it and decide how you might want to live next year differently/better.
- Make your list of new year’s resolutions – but instead of waiting till the new year, start your resolutions NOW. You will have a head start on the new year that will give you a sense of empowerment.
- Aside from the usual resolutions, consider how you’d like to make next year better. Make a list of goals and wishes and then break each down into smaller components, step-by-step to-do lists. Do this now so you can plan a fabulous new year of dreams come true and maybe even your best year yet.
Maybe you don’t want to do much of anything during this week other than lounge around the house, eat holiday goodies and catch up on movies — fine; it’s a good time to unwind! Do bear in mind, though, that there will be plenty of opportunity for kicking back on the couch during this cold winter, so get out when you can.
This week is for you, so whatever you do, be happy!