Now that the Elf on the Shelf is Gone…

By Valerie Tunks, Board Certified Coach

You made it through the holiday season.  Remember back in October when you had a strange mix of excitement and dread about all the work ahead of you preparing, shopping, wrapping, cooking, gifts and parties?  Well, now that there’s no elf on a shelf keeping the kids in line, the glitter and lights are boxed up and in the attic and the kids are back at school, you kind of miss it don’t you?  Your neighborhood no longer twinkles and glows at night when you drive home from work. The holiday magic is gone and it’s back to business as usual.  While there are a lot of stresses involved with the holidays, it is a magical time of year and when it’s over, we miss it; now it’s just plain old winter.   
Although we tend to have a love-hate relationship with the holiday season, when it’s over we’re left with somewhat of an empty feeling.  So, what can you do to spice up the rest of the season while we wait for Mr. Groundhog to tell us how long we have to wait for spring?

Get Out of the House

It is important to get out of the house during the winter months to avoid cabin fever.  It is easy to fall into a winter depression, so do your best to get out and be active.  Look around – sometimes it’s nice to walk in a winter wonderland.

Make the Best of it

While colder and shorter days can be tough to get through, they will go faster and be more enjoyable if you try to embrace them.  If you have a fireplace, use it; sit by the fire and enjoy the warmth and glow.  When it snows, get out there and make a snowman or go sledding with some friends.  If that isn’t your thing (or you live someplace where it doesn’t snow or you hate snow), get out your camera and take some scenery photos; you may just come to appreciate the winter landscape.

Try Something New Every Week

Cooking is great way to try something new every week.  Search for recipes online and invite a friend over to cook with you.  Your inner Julia Child will thank you.  Plus, having friends and loved ones over is fun – it makes us feel less cold and lonely.  It’s a great way to pass the time and doesn’t require going outside when it is too cold.

Plan Something to Look Forward To

If your budget allows now is a good time to plan that vacation you’ve been dreaming of.  It will give you something to look forward to and something to plan for a while.  You can book the trip now and spend the next couple of months planning your itinerary.  If a vacation isn’t a possibility, map out some day trips or outings you would like to do once the warmer weather reappears. Or, plan a winter trip if you can.  Go skiing, head someplace tropical, wherever you feel good – just give yourself something to look forward to.

Whether the Groundhog says we have 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring, don’t worry – you can beat the post-holiday blues by keeping yourself busy.  Who knows, winter may become your favorite season!
Valerie Tunks is a board certified life coach and can be reached here.

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