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The Festive Season is Well and Truly Over – Now What?

The aftermath of the festive season can often feel like a hangover. Too much food, alcohol, social interaction – albeit limited thanks to Covid – can leave us feeling bloated, crappy and sad.

And if you’re looking for work, none of this helps. But you can turn things around with a few simple, small changes.

1. Go back to basics

The festive season is over for another year. Going back to basics means eating well, drinking well, and treating your mind and your body with respect for what it does for you.

Firstly, return to good food – lots of vegetables, some fruit, seafood (particularly salmon which is high in omega 3s) or other suitable protein if you’re a vegetarian, wholemeal bread, handful of nuts. Avoid fried, fatty food – it drags you down physically and doesn’t make you as good as you think it will.

Avoid takeaways and other ‘easy’ food, even if it’s labelled low fat – it’ll contain replacement ingredients like too much sugar or salt.

Avoid temptation by ordering groceries online.

If you’re finding it hard to knock back a drink, don’t keep alcohol in the house. Substitute alcohol for something refreshing, like cold sparkling water mixed with fresh fruit, mint etc. Avoid drinking alcohol on your own – save it for when you’re meeting someone or an occasion.

Get moving – go outside for a walk (if restrictions permit), to a pool or beach for a swim, listen to good music.

2. Cut back on social media.

Even the most confident person can feel dejected scrolling through endless posts of happy people lying by fabulous pools or beaches, staying in top resorts. Keep in mind people only ever post the best parts of their lives – no one posts ‘Just had a massive fight at home, stormed out, dented the car in the shopping centre #yolo #notblessed’!

So use it wisely. Allocate a time to using social media – maybe an hour a day – and definitely not before bed when your mind takes the time to play games with you.

Continue to use LinkedIn, and reach out to your network and other people in your industry who might have job leads.

3. Pull back on social interaction where it doesn’t serve you.

This seems counter intuitive. Surely it’s good to surround yourself with people? The issue is that the festive season keeps us socialising with people, and some of those might not be good for us – sometimes that’s family, close or extended, like great aunt Julie who loudly demands to know why you’re unemployed.

Instead, use your time to explore opportunities, connect with people who, as with social media, might have good leads for you.

Look at doing an online course. There are some great free courses through EdX and Coursera. It’s all about keeping your mind and body active.

All this adds up to positive self-care. It’s important to keep yourself in the best possible physical and mental condition so that, when opportunities do come your way, you’re refreshed and able to step up quickly.

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