For months on end, the promise of a time to be careless and to relax hangs in the air. Everywhere you turn are smiling faces, beach bodies, tables lavished with hearty meals and a sense of accomplishment. Not to mention the sales and discounts on goods you’ll never need!
And here we are. On the otherside of it all. Remnants of gift wrapping overflowing from the bin, a forgotten Tupperware with the last of the ‘pampoentert’ shoved to the back of the fridge, and you, stuck in traffic, on the way to the office to face yet another year. In 12 months’ we’ll do it all again…
It doesn’t have to be that way! We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you keep that holiday feeling lingering for just a little bit longer…
1. Be realistic.
If you took some time-off from the office, don’t enter unavoidable doom by trying to achieve the impossible in the first 2 days back. Allow yourself to make a priority list, and go over everything that needs to happen straight away, and distinguish between that which can wait a week or so.
If your goal is to get rid of those holiday kilos you picked up, that’s great! BUT, remember, you’ve probably been out of routine, woke up a bit later and got used to snacking on things you don’t usually do throughout the year… Rather than suddenly (intending to) hit the gym twice a day, and then beating yourself up when you didn’t do as much, ease into your exercise routine. Instead of cutting out all foods that are bad for you, why not aim to add healthy snacks to your current diet, and then slowly eradicating the bad things..?
Whatever your situation, cut yourself some slack!
2. Don’t give in.
Just because the holiday season is over, does not mean you have to dread returning to your regular routine. If you’re living in South Africa, we’ve still got a good 2 months of summer left!
It is a known scientific fact that fresh air boosts your mood. If you’ve got a pool, make time in the week to take a dip and spend some time outside. Whether you decide to take the dogs for a walk, or to take a stroll with your kids, allow for some outdoor time to keep that summer feeling going for longer. Even more effective than waiting until after work, making the best of an early morning sunrise can do wonders for the soul…
What are the smells and tastes that remind you of your summer holiday? Fruit salad? Coconut? A big breakfast with the whole family? If you’re not ready to let go just yet, incorporate these smells and tastes into your life. Pack a fruit salad for lunch, experiment with new recipes that include coconut as an ingredient, or host a family breakfast on Saturdays.
Find ways to keep your senses alive, and don’t numb down to the mundaneness of everyday life.
3. Get planning.
Stop focusing on what’s passed, and start planning for what’s to come!
Keep an eye out for fun events to attend over the weekend. If you enjoy a certain artist or band’s music, find out if they’re not performing in your area? Global artists have started to develop quite an interest in South Africa, and more and more international acts are making their way to South African stages.
Alternatively, the market scene has exploded all across the country, and you’re bound to stumble across an artisanal food or craft market in your neighbourhood. Markets and festivals are a great way to spend a morning outdoors, and to get exposed to new flavours and concepts. Many markets also have live music, with play areas or petting zoos to keep the kids entertained.
If you’re looking to get out a bit further away from home, TradeUnipoint often offers amazing deals on a weekend breakaway, which is not only kind on the wallet, but offers tranquil settings to get out and unwind. Start planning your next holiday to keep your mind on what’s to come.
4. Prioritise ‘YOU’.
Don’t take up ridiculous resolutions that you know won’t last. If you still haven’t learnt a new language, can’t master the guitar and have to wipe dust off the sushi-making kit you bought 2 years ago, then just throw it all out. No more. Stop making yourself feel guilty for not accomplishing these things.
Instead, why not take up a resolution that you know you will be able to keep. A simple mind shift, like deciding to prioritise your own health and happiness, can create a platform for allowing yourself to grow, without beating yourself up for only being able to play chopsticks after 2 years of trying to make time for music lessons.
5. Give back.
A resolution that never grows old, and that will always make you feel good, is to give back. Why not donate the guitar you’ve only ever played on once, the gym equipment you thought you needed, or the toys you bought your kids for Christmas a few years back that they are now too old to play with?
Alternatively, you could actively volunteer and donate your time to an organisation close to your heart. By giving back and helping out the less fortunate, you’ll quickly learn to treasure the memories you made over the holiday season, and instead of wallowing in the fact that it has all passed, appreciate what you’ve been able to experience.
**If you’re looking for a charity to donate your time or money to, TradeUnipoint supports African Blessings, a non-profit organisation, aimed at uplifting and empowering communities with projects like the Jochebed Children’s Village, an early Learning Centre, farming and food garden initiatives, as well as a critter care centre aimed at nurturing animals in need. For more info go to: www.africanblessings.co.za