How to Fight Post-holiday Blues

For many of us, the holidays can make us happy but leave us feeling down in the aftermath. Seeing family and having fun can leave us drained and make us lonely afterward.

If you are suffering from depression after the holidays or in your everyday life, please reach out to a health professional. Help is available, and you don’t have to feel alone. These tips can improve spirits, but they are not intended to replace medical assistance.

Here are some other tips to get back to your usual self if you are feeling low this January.

One is to recognize that the feeling will pass; it just takes a little while to resettle into our routine after the holidays. “The terms post-holiday ‘blues,’ or post-holiday ‘depression’ are so dramatic,” said Australian psychologist and wellness expert Melissa Weinberg. “What we experience is a post-holiday normalization. It’s an adjustment following a changing life circumstance.” Breathing through it and reminding yourself that “this too shall pass” can help you as you come down of the high of the holidays.

The holidays can stretch out, and the fun can seem to be endless, but when they do end, normal life can feel like a slap to the face. Psychologist Nicholas Joyce suggests the best thing to do is embrace an “acceptance mindset.” When you accept that your daily life just isn’t as fun, it allows you to enjoy it more. No, it’s not New Year’s Eve anymore, but it’s still nice to see your neighbors, accomplish your daily tasks and enjoy the hobbies you put aside before the holidays.  

For many of us, we plan for the holidays for a good period of time before they happen. From decorating, to shopping, to cooking, it’s a lot of prep work. You can be left with a lot more free time once the celebrating is done. That’s when you should turn to your to-do list. Ticking things off your list can give you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment you might be missing.

Another way to help yourself is to get outside. Being alone in the house is unhealthy for multiple reasons. When you get out, you get exposed to sunlight that can help your health and your disposition. You’ll experience the world more, seeing life in your neighborhood. You can enjoy a pleasant walk and get some stimulation that you may be missing after all the activities of the holidays.    

Finally, a big way to ease yourself into normal life is to carry over one of the best parts of the holidays. Part of what people love about holidays is seeing friends and family and reconnecting. You don’t need to let those relationships fade over the year. Speak more to your loved ones. It doesn’t have to be a significant commitment. Speaking to each other for just a few minutes a week can keep you close and connected and feeling good!

The blues will pass, and the spring will be here before you know it. Until then, keep your chin up and embrace your everyday life because our happiness doesn’t need to depart with the Christmas decorations.
January 08, 2020
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