I love the holidays, but now I'm in recovery mode.

By Tara Kram on January 6, 2016

Family is gone. The Christmas tree has returned to its box (no, I've never had a real one). WCSG is back to its regular family-friendly, non-Christmas tunes.  And I haven't seen the sun in a week. Yep, sounds like January in Michigan.

I don't know about you, but I'm in post-Christmas recovery mode. All the hype of the celebration has dissipated, and I'm left ho-humming around the house. What to do? How do I get out of this slump? For a couple of days I may indulge it. I'll snuggle up in bed with a good book, drink warm coffee and watch movies in my sweats. But, its time to move on, and I need to proactively choose an alternative to this drudgery.

I'll let you in on a few of my post-Christmas recovery strategies. You may have your own and I would love to add them to my list. First, I try to remember that the celebration of Christ's birth is never finished. We stop celebrating Christmas, but we don't stop celebrating Christ! So let's party on. Grab that warm cup of coffee and check out a new devotional. Rock out to your favorite worship songs while dancing around the house with the Swiffer (no I never do that!). Write out Psalms on note cards that praise God and post them around your house, in your car, on your screensaver, wherever you need to so you can remember to put your focus in the right place when you are dragging through the day. One of my favorites is Psalm 94:18:

"When I said, 'my foot is slipping,' your love, Oh Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."

Exercise is another way I recover from the holidays. It doesn't matter what exercise it is. As long as I get myself moving in some manner, my mood will almost always do a 180. Sometimes it is a nice long walk at 5:30 a.m. before everyone else gets moving; it's just me and the quiet of night to hash out conversations with God. Other times it's a long run that leaves all my energy depleted and my heart praising God for a healthy mind and body. I don't care if you're an athlete or not, exercise is good for the body and soul. It gets the natural endorphins going and that is some awesome medicine. So grab your yoga mat, tennis shoes, bike, swim trunks or cross-country skis, and use the body that God gave you!

Another technique I use is surrounding myself with people to carry me through these post-Christmas days. I don't have to be with someone every minute of every day, but I am re-charged by engaging with others. I believe God intended us to be a community of believers so that we can encourage, challenge and strengthen one another. Knowing that I have friends to "do life" with gives me motivation to keep moving. It gives me the opportunity to be there in the ways they need me, and for me to lean on them in the ways I need. Sometimes that takes the form of sitting down and talking; other times we watch our kids play together or do a fun activity like hiking. It doesn't matter what we are doing. Our community with one another is stimulating and rejuvenating especially when our foundations center on serving Christ with our lives and encouraging each other to do the same.

Well, my coffee is gone and it's lightly snowing outside. Today, I actively choose to see Christ's light shining through those thick Michigan clouds. Let's go God. I could use a wintry walk.

Used under creative commons. "Mass. Office of Travel & Tourism"

Categories: Counseling, Vocation