Special Report

How to Regain Your Focus After the Holidays, According to Psychologists

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6. Create a photo book

After the holidays is a great time to look through all of your pictures and make a photo book, Taylor said. “This will help you recall all of the wonderful things that happened and create lasting memories to reflect upon throughout the year.”

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7. Know it’s unnatural to simply switch off from vacation

In a way, it is unnatural for people to completely compartmentalize their lives when they walk in or out of the office, according to Sanford. “While appropriate boundaries are important, it is unhealthy to stuff thoughts and emotions down or deny them just because the clock says it is time; finding that balance can be tricky.”

“Realistically, it takes a couple of weeks to really get back into a regular routine,” Taylor said. People spend the last 30 to 90 days of the year winding down and letting go of all of their good habits, she noted. “It’s going to take some time to reestablish healthy behaviors and get back on track.”

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8. Use electronic devices with purpose

It’s not about permanently switching off your computer or television and throwing out your smartphone. Absolutes may not be the answer. “Instead, it can be helpful to think about how you use media and what purpose you want it to serve for you,” Sanford said. Is it serving that purpose? If not — and especially if it takes more away from you then you get out of it — it might be time to be more intentional about media consumption and only use it for the purpose you want, she noted.

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9. Go on short walks

“After the holidays, our minds might wander and we might be thinking about places we’d rather be or things we’d rather be doing than being at work,” Enander said. “Some of my patients find it really helpful to take a five-minute break at work to do a brief and meditative breathing exercise.” By spending just five minutes quietly focusing on your breath, you can bring a sense of calmness and clarity to your day and increase attention to your work, he added.

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10. Stay away from unmotivated people

They can be contagious, Taylor said. If you’re around friends or family who haven’t gotten back into the swing of things, it’s easier to follow suit. “They may actively be telling you that ‘there’s always tomorrow’ or ‘just start on a Monday,’ or it may just be something you feel is easier when no one else around you is moving forward.” Avoid these people for a while, if you can.

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