November 8, 2019 09:05 AM NPT
By: Aditi Sharma
Life after Dashain and Tihar is hard. First, I have to say goodbye to my family members and come home to an empty, often dusty, apartment. Though I live with my husband in a one-bedroom apartment with plenty of plants and a cat, our home feels a little strange after the chaos (aka my beloved extended family) I get used to having around during the festive season. Going to work is difficult after a month of playing cards, partying, and binging on Netflix.
The hardest of it all is to go back to my regular routine of eating right and exercising. What’s worse is that I inevitably put on a few kilos during Dashain and then a few more during Tihar so I feel out of shape and I know I have to get back on track but I seem to be unable to do so. Two weeks after the festivities are over and I’m back home, I have yet to start exercising and my diet still consists of junk food and noodles. This happens without fail every year.
This year too, I must admit, I have been sloughing it at work, unable to focus. I realize the cocktails and mutton delicacies have taken their toll and I not only feel heavier physically but my mind isn’t sharp and fresh either. A lot of my colleagues too seem to be going through what can rightly be termed as ‘post-holiday blues’ or in our case ‘post-festival blues’. And it’s a very real thing.
Life swings from one extreme to another during and after the festivals. One moment you’re in a fairytale land of sorts where everything happens to your liking and the next moment you are forced back into the monotonous routines of daily life. There’s just this sense of loss and loneliness that comes back with reintegrating into the rhythms of day-to-day life. I’ve been so stumped for ideas that I took to asking people how they got back into the daily grind and I’m sharing the top three tips they shared with me because I know we are all in it together.
First up, is to change your thinking. For this, a lot of people said, you have to try altering your attitude from the moment your holiday is over. The point is to make sure you come back home or end the festivities ready to start fresh and tackle work with a newfound zeal. It actually comes down to how you think and you can condition yourself to think positively. It’s easier said than done but, I believe, we could all learn to cultivate a positive mindset. It’s not something that will happen overnight but we can and we should try.
Another idea, one that actually had me really excited, was to make a list of all the things you want and don’t want in life. Meaning, you want to be healthy (after gorging on all that mutton and mithai), you want to get back in shape, you want to feel in control of your life, like it has some order, etc. And you don’t want one day to merge into the next and just wake up, go to work, be a zombie, and then go to bed. Having a clear list of things you want to accomplish in a day can help you get your life in order post the festivities.
Some of my colleagues had an interesting take on why we get ‘post-festival blues’ in the first place and how we can tackle it. They believed that many people kept off things like traveling or meeting friends for the holidays or the festivals and stuck to a strict routine during the other times and Dashain and Tihar, in that sense, feel very liberating.
They were of the mindset that you have to take some of what made you feel good during the holidays and continue them into the days and months after the holidays. For example, if you enjoyed having lots of plans and looked forward to being out with others, make sure you make some plans now. Invite people over; it doesn’t have to be a formal event, you can just invite them to play games, watch a movie, or cook a meal with you.
And there are indeed various reports that say having things to look forward to can help alleviate the feeling of sadness post a holiday. Planning and scheduling your weeks and months means you can incorporate activities you look forward to. Work on making your week or month inspiring and don’t just look forward to another holiday (in this case, Christmas and New Year). I’m guilty of doing this but I also know I will be wasting my days and consequently my life that way and I don’t want to do that.
Life shouldn’t be a countdown from one holiday to the next, though it often ends up being so. We should take time to enjoy the little things – like a coffee date with a friend, or going out to the movies with our family, and our work, which, if you think about it, adds meaning to our days. But it’s a conscious effort and I’m going to start working on it by being grateful for all that I have and looking forward to what I can achieve.
The writer loves books, movies, pizza, and the weekend and believes there is nothing a cup of tea can’t solve. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.