16 December 2011

Guest Post: Marcia Richards

It's close enough to the time when we can start saying Happy Holidays! and wishing folks a Merry Christmas! Thank you for visiting. Today is Life List Club Friday and I am delighted to have fellow LLC member, Marcia Richards as my guest. In my post for today, I share some thoughts I had after I did an Internet search on "reasons not to self-publish." Thanks to Jenny Hansen for hosting the article on her blog.

You may not have finished your holiday shopping, but Marcia has a few tips for you to consider after the holiday cheer has subsided and the new year has begun. 


10 Tricks to Ward Off the Post-Holiday Blues

Only 9 more days until Christmas and New Year's Day is another 7 days. Your house looks amazing! It's clean, bright and expertly decorated! You've been scrambling to buy everyone's gifts without going over budget; wrapping presents; baking cookies; planning the meal; getting party clothes ready; making reservations for New Year's Eve; hiring a babysitter and maybe helping family with travel arrangements.
It's your busiest time of year. It's when you accomplish the most and you love almost every minute of it - the fun, the friends and family, the food - and then, 16 days from now... IT'S OVER.

Suddenly, you're not so busy. What will you do to fill your time? The kids are going back to school, you'll be back at work and able to focus, the tree is out by the curb, and you have all those decorations to put away. Bleh!

Part of you is glad to 'get back to normal'. But, maybe a bigger part of you is feeling the letdown. It's much like grief. You're experiencing loss. The blues have set in because you're left with gray skies, cold, messy snow, an empty house and nothing to anticipate. The days seem dreary and darkness comes early.

Wait just a minute! We can turn this around!

10 Tricks to Ward Off the Post-Holiday Blues

You can start working on some of these tricks right now! The rest will keep you going long after January 1st! Yay! Calmer activites to keep that spark flickering!

Right now you can:

1). Freshen up your house – Make a note to refer to after January 1st take a close look - does your kitchen need a coat of paint? Maybe new curtains for the living room or new pillows for the couch? Rearrange wall art or buy new kitchen towels. Whichever you choose, you will have a fresh look in your home and a fresher outlook on your day. 

2) Plan a vacation - Start thinking now where you might like to travel. Go online to a state's website and order a free tourism catalog. I have a whole shelf of these on most every state. Rent travel DVDs to help you decide on a destination or just for armchair traveling to exotic places when it's -10 degrees outside your door.

3) Scrapbook the memories - Instead of uploading your digital pictures to your computer, print them out. Create a memory book for all those fun moments you enjoyed through the holidays. Scrapbooking is still a popular hobby and with just a few pretty papers, you can create show-stopping pages that will enhance your best photos. Depending on how many pictures you shot, this activity can keep you busy for months and the kids can help, too.

4) Exercise for endorphins - Right now you can begin an at home or gym exercise program. You'll boost your mood and, the big bonus will be burning off the extra calories that sneaked onto your plate. Your energy level will get back to normal and you’ll kick butt on the leftover stress. Walk on a treadmill and use light weights, if you haven't worked out for several weeks, to work back into a routine. Just do 15 minutes a day or 10 minutes twice a day if you’re in a real time crunch.

5) Dream up a new tradition - We have our traditions in place for holidays, but what about post-holiday traditions? Begin talking with your family or friends to get ideas for January and beyond. It could be a weekly outing at an ice skating rink; attending a play at a local theater; entering your favorite cold weather recipe in the Winter Festival's contest.


After the New Year Has Begun
:

6) Don't miss the post-holiday sales - Grab your stash of Christmas gift cards or the homely sweater your sister gave you and head to the nearest mall or specialty shops for some retail therapy. Buy next year's Christmas cards and add to your cache of decorations. Pick up stocking stuffers while you're there. Maybe you'll even find some sexy shoes  or filmy lingerie on sale that would spark thoughts of a special way to celebrate a savvy shopping spree. 

7) Find your comfort zone again - Take time to relax. Indulge in a few do-nothing days. Reconnect with your main squeeze, your kids or your best friend. Plan a girl's only lunch or spa day. Lounge in the bath with your scented oils and a romance novel. Get back to you!

8) Make new goals - Roll into the new year any goals not completed in December. Make new ones and detail the baby steps to reach them. Include some for fun like learning a new language, taking dance lessons or spending more time writing in your journal. To learn how to set reasonable goals and reach them, click here.

9) Carry on the spirit of the holidays - Volunteer at Meals on Wheels or the Red Cross, cook a meal for an elderly neighbor or spend time talking and listening to the senior's stories. Tutor a child, send a care package to a soldier, donate old clothing to Goodwill or food to the Foodbank. If you have children, help them learn to love the act of community service.

10) Find a new creative outlet - Try painting, learning to play an instrument or writing a book.  Knitting, quilting, singing with a group, or gourmet cooking. All creative work requires focus and creates a calming effect on your psyche.

Even though January usually means cold, gray weather, filing tax returns and paying off credit card debt, choose to carry on with warmth in your heart and a smile in your eyes in spite of it all!

Which will you try? Do you have other ideas to share?


Marcia Richards is the author of Marcia Richards’ Blog…Sexy. Smart. From The Heart. Marcia writes about women, history, and the path to realizing your dreams. She has a Historical Trilogy and a collection of Short Stories in progress. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with the grandkids or her husband, traveling or turning old furniture into works of art. She believes there is always something new to learn.
Come hang out with Marcia at: twitter or facebook.   VisitMarcia at her blog.



15 comments:

  1. Lovely post and great tips! Rearranging furniture and decorations relaxes me. When I get stressed, it helps to change a room around. :D

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  2. Lovely post and great tips! Rearranging furniture and decorations relaxes me. When I get stressed, it helps to change a room around. :D

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  3. What great tips, Marcia! I always experienced those "January blues" in the past - cold bleak weather, back-to-the-grind and no overload of parties and gatherings to look forward to just made me feel "blah." I guess it remains to be seen, but I don't think I'll have that this year. Because I've actually gotten so into my love of writing this year, a part of me already looks forward to having quieter evenings and weekends to WRITE. I'm ready to re-energize and get into my novel again. So I guess to me that's the key - to either re-invest in your passion or to find one, and to spend some time with it during blah ol' January and February : ).

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  4. Hey Sonia! Thanks for visiting. Your comment about rearranging furniture made me chuckle. It definitely does not relax me. I get stressed watching people rearranging furniture! I like decorating if it has to do with paintings. I can be one-dimensional at times. But I definitely like Marcia's touch with the pictures for her posts.

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  5. Hi Pam, thanks for stopping by. I consider it a luxury to have time to sit down and do some creative writing. And like all luxuries they are sometimes hard to come by, but you relish it when you have it. You make a good point about using the post-holiday free time to catch up with something you love to do.

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  6. My husband and daughter have January birthdays and my son and I have march birthdays with valentines in-between. Needless to say, nothing gets 'settled' until April around here :)

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  7. Great post! I like the idea of creating a new tradition, post holiday. I'm working on winter ones. Thanks for the pick me up as we head into the final stretch here...

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  8. @Donna...I'm so glad my post spurred an idea! Please come back and let us know what you came up with so you can inspire others!

    @Jennie...okay, lol, so you'll still have a few things to look forward to...more parties! Yay!

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  9. @Sonia..Oooh I loved rearranging furniture after the holidays! I felt like everything was new again!
    Great idea!

    @Pam...these days I'll be writing, too. I foolishly thought I could blog ahead and just write all of December. *slaps head* Right! Good luck with your writing, Pam. I, for one, can't wait to read your novel!

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  10. Gary, thank you for hosting me today on your very wonderful blog! :)

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  11. @Marcia, Thank you for a wonderful post. I'm going to have to follow some of your advice (I like the one about endorphin levels.) The short January days after all the holiday lights come down is a bit depressing.

    @Jennie, What a great family situation you guys have. You just keep partying til Spring and by then, the days are longer and the weather is nice. Makes me jealous!

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  12. These are all wonderful ideas. Thans for the suggestions. And Merry Christmas, Marcia. And to you, too, Gary. Life List Club Friday is always nice to look forward to.

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  13. I'm so happy you enjoy LLC Fridays! I hope some ideas work for you and thanks for coming by Elizabeth! Merry Christmas to you!

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  14. I love your ideas Marcia. And my absolute favorite one is PLAN A VACATION. I like that idea lots. But you've got some great guilty pleasures in this list. How's your treadmill challenge going?

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  15. Thanks for visiting Elizabeth and Merry Christmas to you. We're recruiting bloggers for the LLC. Feel free to recommend someone. :)

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