Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast

King bed with wheat footboard, burgundy bedding and view of vintage tiled fireplace with beige print upholstered chairs and Christmas tree

Be Like Santa! 7 Steps to Overcome “After Christmas Letdown”

I. Love. Christmas! I love the planning and the preparation, the music, the live nativities, the special services, the movies, the celebrations, playing Santa, serving Christmas dinner, and all the joys of the season as we celebrate the birth of Christ. For me, it’s a lot about the anticipation, but I seem to thrive on the busy-ness of it all, too.

I’m a planner. I make checklists. I keep a schedule. When things pick up the pace during the holiday season, I pick up the pace, too, but when the gifts are given and the meal is eaten and the parties are over, I feel a letdown. After pushing, pushing, pushing to keep everything (and everyone) on target I’m tired. I’m worn down emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, and probably every other “ly”.

I’m starting to realize that after weeks (maybe months!) of being overly focused on others as we’re preparing, decorating, entertaining, and playing Santa, the after-Christmas letdown is very real. And it is something we need to deal with.

Santa walking up front steps at a bed and breakfastSo… How do we do that? If anyone knows about post-Christmas letdown, it’s Santa. We invited him in to come visit Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast to get an idea of how he’d manage post-Christmas letdown here so you can do it, too!

Deliberately Slow Down
Take a break. Make yourself sit down. Each of our guest suites has a private sitting room and private bath. Step away from the phone and computer screens. Take time to meditate. Pray. Rest. Take a long winter nap. Spend time with a funny friend. Some days I’m sitting around under a cozy throw, wearing my comfy clothes, drinking tea, watching leftover Christmas movies and doing a big lotta nothing! Everything is at my elbow including my devotional book, my journal, and my husband sitting in a nearby chair.

Santa sitting in an antique chairIt’s a deliberate choice to manage our time differently. It is so important. And it’s hard. Force yourself to take a break. Come spend a day or three at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast. We’ll do our best to make sure that everything is at your fingertips. TAKEAWAY: Come put your feet up at the B&B and get away from it all and really R E L A X.

Take time for Self-Care
Is it time to have your hair trimmed? Deep conditioned? Washed??! Sometimes during the post-Christmas letdown it’s hard to keep up with even our daily needs. Get a good night’s sleep. Soak your cares away in a luxurious bath. Take time to do that conditioning treatment. Step out for your hair appointment. Book that en suite massage with Hannah. TAKEAWAY: You’ve been busy with Christmas, Santa’s been flying around the planet distributing presents, and you both need to do things that make you feel better. Things that you haven’t had enough time for during the busy holiday season.

Eat Well
Santa eating breakfast at the bed and breakfastHow many Christmas cookies are still sitting around?  Do you still have a stash of Christmas candy? Combat all those Christmas sweets with good nutritious meals. Eat a good breakfast. (It’s the “most important meal of the day!”) Santa’s a fan of sweets, but we’re happy to serve a savory breakfast, too! When it’s dinner time, head out to our great local restaurants like Proud Richard’s, the Kitchen at K’s Creek and The Little Stove. TAKEAWAY: You and Santa need to eat well so that you can fully recover from the after Christmas letdown!

Get Some Exercise
Take a winter walk through our historic neighborhood. From beautiful homes to starry skies, there’s always something to see. Stroll through the exhibits at Strawn Art Gallery. Take a Yoga class downtown. Go for a workout. We offer complimentary day passes to our local fitness center. TAKEAWAY: Santa needs to step away from the sleigh and we need to do something to get out of our seats and get moving!

Do Things that Bring You Joy
Santa playing the piano Sometimes winter days seem dreary and extra-long after all of the sparkle and shine and high emotions of the Christmas season. What will brighten your day? Find time to read a book you’ll enjoy. (May I suggest Blessings on State Street? It’s a quick small-town romance with characters I can relate with – for many reasons!) Take a minute to play the baby grand piano, or listen to it play itself. Turn on some music and dance around the front parlor. Or make a cup of tea and just sit and do nothing. Go shopping. Sure, Santa’s been overseeing his elves and you’ve tired yourself out shopping for others, but maybe you need a little something, too. We have some terrific shops around town. TAKEAWAY: After focusing on others for many weeks, take a minute to identify some things to do for yourself that make you happy.

Set Realistic Goals and Make Some Plans
Santa relaxing with his feet upLife doesn’t stop just because we take a minute to slow down. Take some time to sit back and imagine things you’d like to do during the coming year. Put your feet up, relax and clear your mind. Use this time to look to the future and do some planning.

I’m not talking about making a New Year’s resolution that feels like a monumental burden and puts on a ton of pressure to achieve. I’m talking about setting yourself up to accomplish things you’d like to accomplish.

Choose a Bible verse or an inspirational phrase to guide your daily life. Make some notes. Use your phone. Use a spiral notebook. Use a calendar planner. You don’t need six planners, nine highlighters and 29 sticker sets, if that’s not your thing. I do best with one calendar planner for myself/family, a planner for the B&B, and nearby notepads for lists. And a yellow highlighter. And tape flags. I have a “system”! Start setting reasonable goals with benchmarks that will keep you on track as you look forward into the coming year. TAKEAWAY: This is the time to brainstorm your dreams, hopes and plans that you can go back and refine later.

Get organized
Santa making a listI’m a planner and I like to be organized. Santa will probably soon start spring cleaning the North Pole, taking inventory, and making project lists for his elves. What will you be doing? I’m typically thinking about putting away all of our Christmas décor. During the after Christmas letdown, it’s a bit overwhelming trying to get my Christmas décor organized. I have a plan when I’m storing it that includes where each item will be displayed next Christmas. I also have a plan for doing one room at a time, organizing ornaments by size and color, and marking all storage bins and boxes. When I get organized, it’s actually kind of fun because I’m thinking ahead to how things will be displayed next year. I work hard to be organized in other areas, too. It’s the only way I can keep up with my family, child welfare work, B&B and community involvement. TAKEAWAY: Getting organized takes some work but taking it a step at a time makes life more manageable.

The post-Christmas letdown can be very real, and we all need strategies to deal with it. TAKEAWAY: Be Like Santa! Come stay at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast. Relax, take good care of yourself, and make some plans for the coming year.

Innkeeper mom dad and son pose in front of snowy blue Victorian home with white columned porchBlessings on State Bed & Breakfast is an award-winning all-suite inn located in Jacksonville, Illinois. Hospitality is our hallmark. We offer many amenities, including overnight accommodations in a 130-year-old vintage mansion, Wi-Fi, expansive lawn and gardens, all-season fireplaces, and multi-course breakfasts. Come see us!

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