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Your Complete Guide to Holiday Shock Recovery

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The holidays are long past and the new year is now in full swing. However, some of us may still be struggling to get back to everyday life and recover from “holiday shock”. We all know the feeling – the house is in disarray, your daily routine has been out of whack for weeks, and then those first post-holiday credit card statements come haunting you like the ghosts of purchases past! After the time off work and gathering with family and friends over the holidays, it can be quite jarring to get back to our normal lives.

Even after a few weeks, you may still be seeing the residual effects of the holidays. The good news is, USALLIANCE is here to help you recover from your post-holiday slump! By making a plan and focusing on a few key areas, you can get back on track in no time and give your 2024 goals your all.

Declutter and Reorganize

The first step in getting over your holiday shock is to get your house organized. This might seem trivial or like more of an afterthought than the first item on the list, but it can make a huge difference. Clutter and disorganization can lead to increased feelings of stress and anxiety, so you’re doing a lot more to ease that lingering holiday hangover than it appears.

If you’ve got a lot to do, then start by moving all the holiday clutter into one area. By putting all of the holiday-related items in one place, the task will feel less overwhelming than if you have to go all over the house. Now that things are a little more contained, move onto making a list of everything you need to do to get your home back to it’s pre-holiday state (or maybe even better, if you’re feeling ambitious). Now you have your plan in place and you can start making your way through the list. If you’ve got others living in your household with you, enlist their help so that you can divide and conquer all of the tasks that much faster! Soon, you’ll have completed step one, your surroundings will be clean and organized, and you’ll be in a better state of mind to keep moving forward.

Reestablish Routine

One of the biggest causes of holiday shock, and one of the most challenging parts of getting over it, is that you’ve been out of your normal routine for a while, and it can be difficult to get back in the swing of things. The longer you wait to start getting back to your routine, the more difficult it gets, so make your first steps today – even if it’s just one aspect of your daily routine you get back to at first! Setting a regular time to go to sleep every night and wake up every morning is key, it will help establish the rest of your routine. After the sugar and other indulgences from the holidays, it’s also important to get back to eating healthy, balanced meals again. Planning and prepping your meals ahead of time can help you save some time and effort throughout the week. If you’re still feeling out of sorts from the holidays, exercising might not be high on your list of things you want to do, but you’ll thank yourself soon if you power through those first couple of workouts to get back into it.

One of the big reasons for the post-holiday malaise many of us feel is that we’ve been off of our normal schedules for weeks and without the holidays around to distract us, the lack of structure can start to cause problems. Returning to a regular routine will help you feel more grounded and reduce the disorientation that often accompanies the post-holiday season.

Help Your Budget Recover

One of the best things you can do to rid yourself of some of the stress and anxiety is to get your budget back on track after the holidays. Most of us were out shopping for gifts for loved ones (and maybe a couple for ourselves) over the holidays, and the joy of giving the perfect gift can give way to panic when the credit card bills come due. Get your budget under control and your finances back on track with these tips:

  • Assess your holiday spending. First thing’s first, take a look at how much you spent over the holidays, so you know how much you need to pay off sooner than later. If you can, it’s best to pay your bill in its entirety to avoid additional costs in interest.
  • Make a plan for any carryover debt. If you can’t pay off everything you put on your credit card over the holidays, don’t panic! Sit down and make a realistic plan for paying off any debt you’re carrying as soon as you can. The sooner you pay it off, the better, but having a plan that you can stick to is key!
  • Consider a no-spend month. A great way to offset some of that holiday spending is to try a no-spend month. Resolve to only spend money on what you truly need for an entire month, like housing, transportation, food, and other essentials. Limit, or better yet eliminate, all unnecessary spending for one month – think of it as a challenge for you to complete. Instead of going out to eat, use what you have at home to try a new recipe. Instead of going out to the movies, watch an old favorite you have at home. There are countless ways to curb non-essential spending while still enjoying yourself! This will help you re-balance your budget quickly.
  • Consider opening a holiday club account for next year. A club account is a dividend-bearing savings account for people looking to save for a particular purpose, such as holiday spending. The account is designed to help you reach your goal in a year or less. By opening a club account and contributing to it throughout the year, you can spread the cost of the holidays across the entire year to help pay for all of the season’s expenses without taking on debt. Think about getting to the holiday season in 2024 and already having everything paid for!

Prioritize Self-care

We’ve discussed a lot of actions you can take and things that you can do to pull yourself out of a post-holiday rut, but it’s also important to do the opposite and recharge! The holidays can leave you feeling drained, especially if you were doing a lot of travelling or running around the past month or two. To fully recover from holiday shock, make sure that you also prioritize self-care. Whatever revives and reenergizes you, set some time aside for it, whether that’s binge-watching a new show, going out for coffee with a friend, or curling up with a good book. A lot of the holidays are spent thinking about others and doing things for the loved ones in your life, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself as you recover from holiday shock!

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