A New Year has started and many of us expect ourselves to be raring to go. But sometimes we're still feeling the effects of the holiday and have a hangover from too much eggnog, food, family, downtime, travel time, or whatever you've had a lot of. Add to that the pressure of how invigorated you should feel with a fresh start in a brand-new year, and you could be feeling surprisingly weighed down.
Here are some possible ideas to get through the discomfort:
1. Just show up. Whether you feel like it or not, get to work or to wherever you have to be and do what you have to do. But, work on really being there, instead of in your head, cursing the day or daydreaming about the beach. Just be where you are and take care of business. Sometimes that can be enough to shake the blues.
2. Decide on an intention for the year. Tired of breaking your resolutions? How about changing your perspective and setting an intention? An intention is defined as bringing something about. It's not that much different than a resolution, which means to resolve to do something, but there's something less daunting about an intention. It's more of a "leaning in to" something with small changes, rather than a complete overhaul.
3. Decide on one thing you'll do today in support of your intention. Maybe it's to leave the office on time to get home and tuck your kids in. Or it's getting a salad for lunch instead of a burger and fries. Just do one thing. Don't go crazy with action steps or you'll get overwhelmed and scrap it all.
4. Detach from the drama. Sometimes the hangover can be from family stuff that came up over the holidays. Maybe you had an argument with a relative and you feel sick every time you think about it. Just work on letting it go for now. That doesn't mean never dealing with it, but for now, while you're working on getting your mojo back, set it aside. You're too close to it now. If you need to interact with them immediately, then be polite, and if the elephant in the room must be addressed, kindly say that you need some time to think. Then don't think for a while. Just detach. Process later.
5. Make a date with a friend. Make sure it's someone that cheers you up or makes you feel connected. You'll have something to look forward to and you'll feel a lot better afterwards. But, make it for this week when you need to shift your attitude. If it's just a quick coffee, fine. Do that. It'll be worth it.
6. Move your body. Getting to the gym can be a loaded issue at this time of year, so if you can't get yourself to go there yet, get outside and walk fast so your heart is pumping. Or dance in front of your Wii. Just get moving and don't think about doing a new "program." Stand up and do something today. Start out with one time a week. Then you can move to two days a week. I used to only have time to exercise on the weekends and that felt a lot better than no exercise at all.
7. Decide on a mantra. Whatever it is that you're currently struggling with, it really helps to have a phrase that you can go to when the going gets tough. If you keep getting your feelings hurt at work, try "It’s not personal." If you can't get off the couch to move your body, then try, "Just ten minutes." Find a phrase that helps remove all the emotional baggage wrapped around an issue.
8. De-clutter your mailbox. There's nothing that can beat down your energy for the day like emails pouring into your mailbox when you've been out for a few days. Sometimes much of it is stuff you never read. Stop a moment and unsubscribe from anything you automatically delete. You will immediately feel lighter.
9. Help someone else out. Being of service to others makes us feel good. So if you can't motivate to get your own stuff done, see if you can help someone else out. It will get you out of your own head and might give you the space to tackle your own things next.
10. Figure out what's in your control and what's out of your control. If something is out of your control, like a coworker losing his or her temper, then focus on what you can take care of, which could be to clear the area or whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.
The holidays in general can bring up a lot of "shoulds" and feelings of obligation and expectations. Everyone else looks like they've got it all figured out and are having the time of their lives. It's a lot of pressure. So try these basic steps and see if you feel better. Sometimes you just need someone else to tell you what you already know…especially when you're hungover. Happy New Year!
Anne Hubben believes the only thing worse than looking for a job you want is looking for a job you don't want. Anne is a career coach and recruiter for creative talent. She has been recruiting creatives in the design and advertising industry for 15 years and coaching them internationally for 4 years. She can be found at AnneHubben.com where she offers free resources and creative career tips. Say hello on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+