Madison Kitchen

The holiday season is a magical time of year.  With gifts under trees, twinkling lights in neighborhood windows, and smiles on every face in bustling shopping malls, it’s hard to resist feeling joyful when December rolls around.  It seems that every day, something new is being celebrated.  And then suddenly, it happens: New Year’s Eve comes and goes, and all of the celebrations come to a halt.  Visiting family and friends go back home, and a sort of post-holiday depression sets in.  How can we keep positive when the universal joyful spirits and sparkling window displays go away?  

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Here are a few of the best ways I’ve found to help boost morale while adjusting to the transition of the new year:

Make Your Own Magic

It’s so easy to concede that because the magic of the holidays is over, there’s no place for magic in our lives until the next set of holidays comes.  I find that this is simply not true.  A teacher of mine once told me that if I wasn’t having any fun, I should make my own—how is magic any different?  I don’t mean getting out a wand and calling on the supernatural.  Instead, I’m suggesting that there’s magic in giving.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that it’s more fun to give presents than to receive them, so why not make cookies on the weekend to surprise your coworkers on a dreary Monday morning, or buy the person behind you in line at the coffee shop a latte now and then?  If you're able to create this kind of magic in your world, you may start to feel the joy of the holiday spirit year-round.

Stick With Self Care

There is no braver or more powerful choice than to choose to take care of yourself.  This could mean lots of things: going for a run or to a yoga class, taking ten minutes out of your day to meditate, taking a nap or a bubble bath, or even simply getting enough sleep at night.  Yes, giving to others is magical, but there’s also a special kind of joy in focusing on the most important person in your life: you!  No matter what life throws at you, at the end of the day, you are the one that matters the most.  Whatever you can do to help yourself stay stable, strong, and undeniably you is key to keeping positive in the transition into the new year after the post-holiday blues.

Look for the Love in Your Life

When your family and friends from out of town return to home, the world can begin to feel a little loveless and lonely.  So in this time where you may be feeling down, or maybe even a little left out of the fun your friends look like they’re having from their Instagram photos, don’t be afraid to reach out to the friends, family, and coworkers that are close to you.  They’re likely feeling the same things that you are, and would love someone to talk to and hang out with, too (no matter how un-lonely they may look on social media)!  When you show love to others, you will likely get love in return, so really, don’t hesitate to make the first move.  It doesn’t have to be a romantic love; it can simply be the love of a friendship or even  love with a pet or a new favorite recipe!  Once you open your eyes to the love in your life, you’ll begin to notice that it’s all around you, and you won’t feel quite so  down—or left out—after all. 

Be Proud of What You’re Leaving Behind

Walking into the new year with your head held high takes a lot of strength and bravery, and it involves a huge amount of acceptance of the past year’s experiences.  You may have a lot of proud moments from 2016, and a couple of regrets, too, and all of that is not only okay: it’s normal!  But for 2017, it’s time to let all of the madness from the last year go and move forward into the present.  So no matter what you experienced in 2016 (and let’s be honest, it was a little rough for all of us), be proud of how far you’ve come in 365 days!  You left last year as an entirely different human being than you were walking into it, and that’s something to be proud of.  As you reflect, accept all of your successes, your failures, your highs, and your lows; take what you need, and use what you now know to grow in the next year.  When you can be proud of your recent past, you will be much happier moving into the future.

 There is no braver or more powerful choice than to choose to take care of yourself.

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Embrace What’s Coming Next

Sometimes, the future can look even more daunting than the past, which can contribute to the stress and negativity of the post-holiday season.  I say to embrace what’s coming next and fearlessly look into the future, but this is clearly easier said than done.  The future can be scary, and that’s okay.  The nature of fearlessness is not having no fear; rather, it’s accepting your fear and still moving forward.  This is the kind of approach you want to have as you step forward into the unknown:accepting that you don’t know what’s going to happen next, yet  still being as open as you possibly can be towards what is coming.  The more brave and confident you can be looking forward, the more secure you’ll feel as you stay in the present. 

Don’t be Afraid (or Ashamed) to Let Go

Finally, don’t be afraid to let go of the things you don’t need!  Negative moments from the past year and even toxic relationships may be cluttering your brain—and your life—but remember, the most important person to care for in your life is you, so sometimes you need to simply let those things go.  Deciding you don’t need to hold onto things anymore, whether they be thoughts, memories, or possessions, isn’t a weak choice, it’s a strong one.  You don’t have to be afraid to shake some things off.  All of the negativity you may be holding onto after the holiday season may seem like baggage you need, but there is nothing wrong with making the choice to let it go.  You’ll be glad you did, and moving forward you’ll feel like a lighter, stronger, happier, healthier you.  Once you’re free of the excess, you’ll realize that the future—and the present—are looking pretty bright.


Madison Kitchen is an actor, singer-songwriter, lipstick enthusiast, and blogger at http://madkitchensink.blogspot.com.  
You can find her searching for new cookie recipes, frolicking through New York City, or staring at chandeliers for extended periods of time.

 

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Comments (1)

Love all of this Madison! Thank you!!

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