5 tips for overcoming holiday blues

Some study music might be just what you need to get back on track with your work schedule!

Nnurul Shakinah

In love with anything matcha flavoured.

Published: 3 January 2023, 5:04 PM

The back-to-back Christmas and New Year holidays have just passed, and after getting a well-deserved long break, many of us might find it a tad difficult to get back to the work that may or may not have piled up (oops!). 

If you are struggling to get yourself motivated to work, study or chase your New Year resolutions, fret not as these five tips are here to help you get back on track. 

1. Exercise to increase dopamine levels

Ever felt a state of euphoria after a long run or strenuous physical exercise? This is a phenomenon called a “runner’s high”, that is caused by a group of neurotransmitters. 

One such neurotransmitter, Dopamine, is said to be responsible for mood, attention, motivation, working memory and learning, which makes it very important if you are trying to function at optimum levels. 


Dopamine also regulates heart rate, sleep cycles and pain processing. PHOTO CREDIT: MIGUEL A AMUTIO VIA UNSPLASH


Next time you are feeling a little unmotivated to start work, go for a short run or engage in some high-intensity workouts to get your blood pumping!

2. Practice the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique is a timing method that helps to train the brain to focus for short periods of time. This technique comprises 25 minutes of work followed by five- minute breaks that is said to avoid burnouts. 

There are multiple productivity applications that make use of the Pomodoro technique. One such application that you can try out is Focus Plant.


Focus Plant works off a rewards system, where users receive essentials to grow their virtual plants, if they keep to their goals. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOTS FROM FOCUS PLANT


This application is free for both Android and iOS users.

3. Listen to some focus music

While listening to music is unlikely to make you more intelligent, it’s hard to deny that listening to calming or lo-fi music can help some when it comes to focusing and boosting productivity. 


Study music can be easily found on commonly used music streaming platforms such as Spotify. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM SPOTIFY


With YouTube and Spotify offering many options for free, it is without doubt that you will be able to find a study playlist that suits your study needs.

4. Munch on mood-boosting snacks

While it may be tempting to snack while working, high-sugar food may cause you to feel lethargic and unmotivated. 

Instead, superfoods such as bananas and dark chocolate contain many mood-boosting compounds that make them an ideal snack choice when working. 


Berries are also another healthy option as they are rich in antioxidants that help manage mood fluctuations. PHOTO CREDIT: CECILIA PAR VIA UNSPLASH


Next time you go grocery shopping, make sure to pick out these healthier alternatives instead!

5. Get sufficient sleep

Did you mess up your body clock, staying up late to usher in the New Year? That might just be the reason why you are feeling tired and unmotivated this post holiday season. 

It is recommended that we get around seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night. Getting anything lesser might make you groggy and grumpy, which in turn leads to lesser productivity. 


According to Healthline, a lack of sleep can cause mood changes, thinking troubles and a lack of concentration. PHOTO CREDIT: GREGORY PAPPAS VIA UNSPLASH


Try going to bed the same time every night; it might just be the key to a happier and healthier you!

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