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Seven ways to recover from the holidays

It’s easy to get burnt out from the holidays. You’re probably too tired to even read this.

We scraped by another Thanksgiving weekend with awkward distant relatives. Black Friday shopping turned into frantic races down department store aisles. Decorations and parties dominated our schedules in December. And last minute Christmas shopping pulled us away from calm nights at home with the family. By the time Christmas Day rolled around, many of us barely had any holiday cheer at all.

We were just exhausted.

Something happens when we’re in a constant rush, stuffing our schedules like stockings above the fireplace. We can only handle so much excitement before the stress catches up to us.

Busyness has become a badge of honor in American culture, but it shouldn’t be.

Now that the holidays have passed and New Year's Day is upon us, how can we recover before we snowball back into a frenzied routine? What are some practical steps to reclaiming rest?

Seven Ways To Rest After The Holidays

1. Allow yourself a break. 

No one can survive or thrive by staying busy 24/7. Schedule time to rest and to dream. And cut yourself some slack when you feel compelled to do everything. We have to learn to say “no” to good things if we want to do great things.

2. Turn off your phone.

 Technology is helpful, but it often keeps us from resting. Turn off your email notifications and social media alerts for a while. It’s OK. The Internet will be there when you get back. Don’t be a slave to your smartphone (or iPad or computer).

3. Take a Sabbath.

Sabbath is something God tells us to do in the Bible. It simply means setting aside a day to honor God and remember He keeps the world spinning even when we stop working. Catch up on that mountain of sleep deprivation. Put your work aside for an afternoon or a day to remember that even God rested (Genesis 2:2-3).

4. Exercise.

Get off the couch. Go on a walk. Physical activity helps our bodies and minds stay healthy and balanced. Using energy can actually be a way to recharge.

5. Pray.

Ask Jesus to help you experience peace. Listening to God and meditating on Scripture will remind you that He is in control and there is much to be grateful for (Colossians 3:15-16).

6. Spend time with family.

Isn’t it ironic how family can be put on hold during the holidays? Try doing something with each other that promotes rest instead of busyness. Plan a few hours to spend time together without an agenda.

7. Choose people over things.

 It’s easy to get distracted with new Christmas gifts and making plans for your New Year. But don’t forget: people are always more important than possessions and agendas. Healthy relationships are part of a rested mind and body. Things can wait.

We need periods of rest in every season, not just after the holidays. Make resting a habit all year round, and you may find you have more than enough energy to keep going.

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