5 ways to get back on track after the holidays

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The holiday season can be a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, it’s a time to relax and enjoy some much-needed time off. But, it can also be a bit dizzying and exhausting.

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In fact, most people would probably agree they need a holiday after the holidays. Between the chaos of shopping and travel, plus making time to reconnect with family and friends (virtually or otherwise), the season can seriously interfere with your routine. By January, you might realize you’ve been neglecting your wellness regimen, or maybe you've exceeded your budget just a tad.

No matter how well you’ve mastered the ability to avoid common holiday pitfalls, nobody’s perfect. And it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of … especially after the year we’ve just had. What’s important is how you recover and get back on track.

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To help guide you through, we’ve worked with Capital One to bring you our top tips for a post-holiday reset, including how to use Quick Check™ to take the uncertainty out of the credit card application process. You’ve already got enough on your plate as is, why not remove credit card application stress from the mix?

Ready to rediscover your best self this January? Here’s how to kick off the new year revitalized and ready to tackle everything 2022 has to offer.

1. Start moving your body again

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We all need a mental and physical break, and the holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of some rest.

However, it’s important to remember that a break is exactly what it sounds like – a temporary reprieve. Staying active is a great way to help you feel energized and motivated throughout the year. So once you feel sufficiently rested, set a date to get back to some regularly scheduled physical activity.

This doesn’t have to mean purchasing expensive home gym equipment or setting unrealistic goals for yourself as a New Year’s resolution. Whether it’s a daily walk, yoga or an intense HIIT workout, your joints, heart and mental health can benefit from any form of movement.

2. Embrace winter

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Winter can seem never-ending at times, but it can also serve as an amazing backdrop for exciting outdoor activities, fun family time and cozy nights in.

As temperatures outside dip, instead of pining for signs of spring, make an effort to take advantage of all the great things that winter has to offer (while following local health guidelines). Trust us, time passes much faster when you have a positive outlook on winter.

Make the most of the season by planning a day on the slopes with family or friends, or an afternoon of ice skating or sledding. Again, always make sure to read up on, and follow, the latest local health guidance. Alternatively, simply bundle up and consider taking a stroll through a new or familiar neighbourhood. Or, if you're stuck inside during a snowstorm, host a virtual game night with friends, or cozy up with your favourite warm beverage and enjoy some alone time.

3. Give yourself something to look forward to

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Think there’s nothing left to be excited about now that the holidays are over? That couldn’t be further from the truth. Rather than feeling let down by your newly open calendar, take advantage of it! Look at the new year as the start of a brand-new chapter – one that you’ll get to fill with plenty of exciting experiences and adventures over the months to come.

Taking up a new hobby or coordinating a weekly video chat or phone call with friends are simple ways to give yourself something to look ahead to in the coming weeks and months. When you feel like you have something coming up to look forward to, you often feel more energized – which can be just what you need to get back on track after the holidays.

4. Eat mindfully

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Holiday stress can sometimes result in rushed or skipped meals, and your body may be craving more consistent nourishment come the new year. After all, it’s hard to feel like your best self when your meal schedule is thrown out of whack.

After you’ve finished all the leftover turkey and candied yams, get back on track by making an effort to eat regular, balanced meals throughout the week (whether it’s home cooking or from your favourite local restaurant). Planning ahead for the week won’t just give you something to look forward to, you may also find yourself eating healthier if you have pre-planned meals ready to go in the fridge.

While it can be common to feel unmotivated about meal time after the holidays – especially if your holidays were spent cooking festive feasts – you can help yourself get back into the groove by picking a few days a week to focus on cooking and meal prep. Then, you can opt for takeout (perhaps there's a new local spot you want to try!) on nights when your schedule is slightly more hectic. And if the idea of cooking intimidates you, don’t sweat it. There are a number of easy one-pot recipes you can start with to help you build confidence in the kitchen. And, January’s a great time to test them out while also learning a new skill in the process.

5. Get your finances in order

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Spending often goes hand in hand with the holidays, especially when friends and family are involved. Even if you made a conscious effort to spend less this year, there can still be some sticker shock involved once you sit down to tally up your holiday purchases. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't worry! There are plenty of ways to get back on track. Start by setting a budget and allotting a monthly allowance for essentials so you don’t feel the temptation to overspend.

If your credit score needs improving, there’s no better time to start building it up than right now. While there are a variety of factors that go into determining your credit score, you can help improve your score by making any loan and credit card payments on time, and paying more than the minimum payment whenever possible (as much as your budget allows). Not only will this help you save on interest charges, it will also help reduce the amount of debt that shows up on your credit report. Keeping older accounts open and in good standing is another great way to help increase your score over time.

Here’s another credit score tip you may not be aware of: When you submit a new credit card application, it generates a hard inquiry or “hard hit” on your credit report. That’s why it’s important to be mindful when applying for a new credit card to avoid unnecessary hard hits to your credit history.

When you use an eligibility checker like Quick Check, you’ll see which Capital One credit cards you’ll be approved for before you apply, without generating a hard hit on your credit report. Quick Check results in a “soft hit,” which doesn’t impact your score. That means you can apply with 100% confidence* that you’ll be approved.

Stop playing the guessing game when it comes to credit card applications. With Quick Check from Capital One, you can find out which of their cards you’ll be approved for before you apply, helping you proceed with 100% confidence*.

*Conditions and limitations apply. Visit the Capital One Quick Check page for details.

The content in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only and isn't intended to be relied on as financial, legal, tax, investment, or any other kind of professional advice, or to indicate that a particular product or service (either from Capital One or someone else) is right for you. You should always speak to a qualified professional for advice that's tailored to your needs. Any mention of third parties and their products and services are not endorsements, and we aren't responsible for any info, opinions, recommendations or other content from a third party. Things change over time, so we don't guarantee the currency, applicability or completeness of the content in this article.

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