I loved everything about this past holiday season. I mean, remember this? We had our first real Christmas tree, my family came out from Chicago and the weather was perfect, and there was even an epic battle-to-the-finish Monopoly game. Paul and I had some great down time, lots of walks on lots of beaches, and enjoyed plenty of fun and good cheer at various friends’ cocktail, birthday and new year’s parties. In short, it was pretty ideal. And now? Real life has crept back in. This week brought us going back to work, a ton of cold, rain and wind, that horrible feeling of having to put clothes on that aren’t glorified sweat pants (and realizing that nothing fits anymore) and the shock of looking at one’s bank account statement. That’s right folks, it’s
THE THREE B’s: BROKE, BLOATED AND BLUE.
Refusing to bow down to them this year, I have scoured the interwebs to come up with these little tips and tricks for battling those forces of post-holiday evil. Here are a few of the best ideas.
For the Broke:
- January Spending Freeze
- Challenge yourself to a month of Cheap Meals. Here is a hint: meatless meals are less expensive. Make a big pot of soup every Sunday and use for lunches during the week. Embrace rice and beans, or see just how creative you can be without spending big bucks. Post your favorite recipes in the comments!
- Host Game Nights with your friends. Paul and I are already planning one of these for later in the month!
- The Simple (and cheap) Dinner Party . I also love a good Sunday evening pot-luck–especially during the Winter in Bermuda, when no one wants to go out, but everyone wants to get together.
For the Bloated:
- Dry January (long live the mocktail). We’re doing this–Day 5, people! Woot! We did Sober September, and here we are again. It’s definitely easier the more you do it. Also, if you have any good tips or mocktail recipes, you can share them in the comments!
- Cut the carbs. Either whole hog, or bit by bit. Until noon? Until 3pm? Until 6pm? All day? The holidays put me in a bad place. Last night, I was jonesin’ for a chip. Any chip.
- Hydrate, you idiot! (I’m talking mostly to myself, here)
- Get moving. Outside if you can, at a gym/yoga studio, online/apps. I’m trying to commit to 30 minutes a day to start, and then upping that as it becomes more of a habit. Right now I am clinging to the idea that I can do anything for 30 minutes.
For the Blue:
- Did you read this article? It’s apparently a thing!
- Map out your goals in 90 day chunks (quarters), instead of thinking an entire year at a time. Because if you give yourself 12 months to do something, it will take you 12 months. If you only give yourself 3 months, it’ll get done in 3.
- Figure out projects you want to tackle at work and think about how you’re going to celebrate when you check them off (hello spa day!)
- Set up a coffee/lunch/skype date with someone you would like to work with, a new colleague, or anyone you have been meaning to network with for each week of January. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you are being proactive in your job, with the added bonus of giving you something to look forward to in your week
- Change up your desk area. A new plant, freshly sharpened, matching pencils? Or this. This was a game changer for me. I have it in my studio and my coffee stays warm no matter how distracted I get.
I hope these little ideas work for you. Hell, I hope they work for me! I’ve already tried a few, and so far, so good.