Five ways to wind down before getting wound up

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The dreaded transition from vacation mode to work mode is upon the many of us that were fortune

enough to have ample time off this holiday season.  For me, it’s not the piles of paper waiting on my desk that are most upsetting; it’s the fact that I’ll actually have to wake up before 9:00 a.m., won’t be able to consider my Christmas jammies as suitable workplace attire and will forgot all the valuable pop culture knowledge I’ve accumulated this week through endless movie & TV binges.  Yes, the shock of days gone lazy to days gone crazy will be difficult to manage but as the sun finally sets on another holiday season, I hope these tips will ease you back in and ensure the transition does not hit you like the frigid waters of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Visit your happy place – maybe for you, this means getting lost in a book, catching up on episodes of Friends you’ve already seen 20 times before or going beast mode at the gym.  Whatever it is for you, make it happen this weekend because before you know it, setting time aside for this activity won’t be so easy.

Take a walk, alone – One of the best things about the holiday season is the opportunity to visit with friends and family.  On the flip side of that coin, with all the activities and running around from here to there, it can be hard to find time for ourselves.  Schedule in a 30-minute walk over the weekend to regroup, relax and catch up with the one that knows you best – yourself.

Meal planning 101: Keep it simple, stupid – On the evening before you return to work, don’t stress yourself out about putting a complex meal on the table.  Check out Martha Stewart’s 15-minute mealsuggestions or turn to my new best friend, the Crockpot.  Gather your ingredients today, throw them in the pot tomorrow morning and wallah, you’ve got yourself a no stress, no mess meal!  All Recipes.com offers a full spread of simple and delicious slow cooker meals.

Pack & Plan – Over the weekend, collect and organize everything you’ll need to return to work so you don’t run around Monday morning frantically searching for a lost file or whatever it might be.  If you’re taking lunch to the office, get a head start by making and packing it Sunday evening.

The end of the holiday season often brings with it a feeling of sadness – it means 11 months void of jolly holiday music, the comforting glow of festive lights and party after party with those we cherish most.  The good news is, life goes on and new memories are ready for the making.  Instead of basking in sorrow over the year past, map out your plans for 2015!  Purchase a planner (TJMaxx has some absolutely adorable planners embellished with encouraging slogans) and jot down all of the exciting things you already have scheduled for the year (weddings, birthdays, trips, etc).  If you don’t have anything fun planned, then go ahead, pencil something in and stick with it.  It could be as simple and random as a Wednesday evening date night on April 15.

Unplug – This is perhaps the hardest thing to do but at the same time, it’s also the most important.  In the final hours before you fall asleep, only to be woken by the sounding alarm clock, take a break from the outside world – this means no reading your email (unless it’s an absolute must), no checking the latest Facebook statuses, no PJ, duckface snapchats – nothing.  I promise, you’ll be able to catch up on everything you missed Monday morning.

Start the new year refreshed, relaxed and ready to go!

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