I want to get real with everyone about this holiday hangover that we are all experiencing, but no one is talking about…The hangover that I conveniently forget about each year as I am dancing around like a fairy, talking about how much I love the holidays. Some of you may be thinking, “what the fudge is she talking about this time?!”… let me explain.
Most hangovers are curable within a day, or, if you’re unlucky, two days. However, with the aid of some greasy foods, Advil and sleep, or, for others, sweating it out at the gym (which I am never a fan of, because I prefer to be a sloth), you slowly start to come back to life.
A holiday hangover is different though. It’s not only a full body experience because of what we consumed, but it’s also an emotional and financial hangover as well. We see lots people friends, family and ‘frenemies’ (aka friends that are enemies and you don’t like), which can be great while also exhausting and draining at the same time. We also spend way more money than we ever typically do in a month, blowing budgets out of the water, because, hey, it’s the holidays!
Even when I try my hardest, even writing a blog about my “Holiday Non-negotiables” and what I do to stay on track, every year I find myself here-sick, tired, bloated, broke, and battling my holiday hangover.
If you feel me, can I have an AMEN!!?…
Then once we are officially in the New Year and start writing out our goals for 2019, it’s hard to even get an accurate reading of where our starting point is. Because of what we did to ourselves at the end of December, we don’t know where we really stand anymore. My best advice to deal with this, is to give yourself a little reset and start to cure that holiday hangover.
As I am sure you can guess, this takes a lot longer than a day or two. Give yourself a two or four-week reset. Take a minute to pause and get yourself back on track.
Since I am not exactly “cured” yet, I thought I would just share with you what I am going to do as soon as I write this and get my a$$ off the couch. I’ll break down what I am going to do this year and what I do every year to help myself physically, mentally and financially cure the holiday hangover.
I am going to start with the physical, because my body feels like s*#it as I write this blog, and know exactly what I need to do:
- Go on a dry spell –This means no alcohol for this girl. Since alcohol is literally a poison, this is always one of the first things to go. My cousin Shelly does “Dry January” and doesn’t drink for the entire month. I did it last year and it felt great I highly recommend trying it because you’ll likely feel incredible. But, if you are a social butterfly and already have your month of January planned out, just majorly cut back on what alcohol you’re consuming. Your body will thank you for it.
- Drink lots of lemon water-Studies say that you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. After the holidays, I try to up that water intake and adding lemon. If you Google lemon water detox, you will find tons of articles talking about the health benefits and detoxification that drinking lemon water, hot or cold, will do for you. (Plus, I personally think it makes drinking water more appealing with the added flavor!)
- Eat very, very clean –To me this means, no dairy, no sugar, no processed foods. At the same time, eat lots and lots of delicious, colorful veggies, fruits, fish and whole grain, healthy carbs. I’ve gotten this diet approved by my doctor, and while I am NOT a certified nutritionist, I do learn a lot through trial and error. Through my efforts over the years, I’ve found that the cleaner I eat (real live foods that don’t come from a package), the better I feel. There are also thousands of studies that back this.
- Do more cardio – I try to walk a lot or add in an extra cardio session or two. Typically, I do cardio one or two times a week during the winter. During the summer, I walk almost every day. But, in the winter it’s harder because I don’t like going out in the cold, so I will do an extra 20 minute H.I.I.T. workout that I find on Youtube or I will walk / run on the treadmill to get in a little extra movement. It’s great for your heart and it just feels good to move.
Our mental hangover is often overlooked during this time of year. Meeting and talking with so many people is exhausting, especially if you’re more of an introverted person. I am a total extrovert, yet I still find myself exhausted from all of the social stimulation, so I make sure I am mentally recharging as well. For my mental cure I:
- Practice Yoga-Yoga is the ultimate stress relief for me. When I started my job in sales, I found that I was getting migraines and couldn’t sleep at night and was getting anxious all the time over my job. Then, when I started practicing yoga I found that it calmed me down and truly helped me physically and mentally. With that experience and seeing how it positively affects me, I always go back to my practice when I need a mental reset.
- Clean out a closet-This sounds funky, but my God, it feels good. And it doesn’t have to be a closet, it could be your desk, clothing drawers, your bathroom baskets or an entire room. Whatever it is, clean it out and get rid of the old junk you don’t need. Our minds can’t truly relax and reset if you are not physically in a clean and neat environment, as all that stuff is subconsciously (or consciously, if you’re like me) hanging over you as another task to be accomplished. And after the holidays and in the winter months (if you live in northern areas), you are stuck in these rooms for a long time. Relax your mind and clean it up!
- Read a book-There is something about getting lost in a book and cup of tea that just completely puts me into a zen like state. When I get lost in the characters and a great storyline it’s as if I am physically being transported to another place and time. When I come back to reality, I tend to see everything a little differently and even a little clearer. Give it a whirl, see how it feels!
- Take time to pamper yourself and relax-This I don’t do enough, and I am guessing that many of us don’t. Taking time to practice the pause and treat yourself. Whether it’s a bath in candlelight, a massage, a trip to the sauna or whatever it is that you love but never allow yourself to splurge on. All holiday long you had to run around, buy presents, go to parties, and be consumed by things that weren’t the best for your body. Now it’s your turn to say thanks to your body and give it the rest and pampering it deserves!
As I mentioned before, the holidays leave my bank account at an all-time low. This isn’t necessarily because of the presents bought, though that is a contributor, it’s all the extra stuff that you buy like ‘ugly Christmas sweaters’, new ornaments, decorations, food, alcohol, etc. It adds up and sets me back on my savings goals, so in January I am always extra cautious of where my money is going. Here are some of the things I try to do.
- Have friends over instead of going out-I love hosting and having friends over, even though we have a teeny tiny apartment. I enjoy cooking, eating appetizers and drinking wine on my couch and we make our little space work. We will play games or just talk and it’s super fun. Not only that, but it is ALWAYS cheaper to stay in-and healthier. So in my eyes it’s a win-win- win. So go on Pinterest to find a cool appetizer or easy healthy meal recipes, grab a deck of cards, and let the staying in begin!
- Don’t buy a morning coffee-This was a habit I had to try to break when I first moved out of my parents’ house. When I lived there, I was rent-free and didn’t have too many expenses so I would get a coffee every day. Once I moved into my apartment that had to change. I did the math and I was spending between $1,000-$2,000 a year on coffee… that’s just one coffee a day. NOT OKAY… So when I moved out, I cut that down to just weekends. It’s one of those sneaky expenses that creeps up on you. Try to cut it out, or cut out another luxury expense that you can creep up on you the way a coffee does.
- Eat your meals at home and pack your lunch – I cook every meal that I eat during the week- breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday. It’s just a habit I got into to: a) Eat healthier and b) Save money. This habit is really second-nature to me, and nothing new. But,the more people I talk to, the more I find people AREN’T doing this every day. It takes a lot more time in preparation, but the overall money you save makes it totally worth it. Just as an example, let’s say you eat out at lunch every day, the average lunch around here costs around $13. $13×5 =$65 per week. That is almost half my average weekly grocery costs and I always spend more than the average. Granted, it is just my husband and me right now, but still- if we both were doing that every day during the week, lunches alone would cost the same of what we normally spend on groceries for an entire week!… Just some “food” for thought.
- Track your spending-This is a personal goal of mine for 2019. Since I am pretty much in the “Cashless Generation” and only use my credit cards or debit cards, it’s harder for me to have an accurate reading of how much I am spending each month. My mom sent me this awesome file that made me go back and look at the last month of expenses to see where your money really went. It was completely eye opening for me. That was more of a reactive approach, but it still helped me realize my spending patterns. It might be better for you to keep a journal or a “notes” section on your phone of your daily expenses. Forcing yourself to type in or write down every time you make an expense, no matter how big or small. This way the next time you want to treat yourself to a skinny vanilla latte, you might think twice!
This all sounds like a lot, I totally get that, but think about all that you did in December!…So take what you love and discard what you hate. Either way, I wanted to give you lots of ways to can overcome this holiday hangover. I hope this helps, and that we soon find ourselves bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, NOT hungover, and ready for 2019!