Five Ways To Fight The Post-Holiday Blues
By Emily Jacobson
Every year, most of us spend a lot of mental, physical and emotional energy on the holidays Then, suddenly, the holidays are over, and it’s back to real life. If you find that you’re feeling less-than-ideal in the weeks after New Year, you may be one of the millions of people affected with what has come to be known as the “post-holiday blues.” But there are some simple changes that can make: the transition back into real life a whole lot easier:
Realize That Your Feelings Are Normal
Feeling low and even depressed after the holidays is far from uncommon, and it’s completely understandable after all that anticipation, hard work, and celebrating. It’s important to recognize that people feel down after the holidays for many different reasons – whether or not you had a good holiday experience. Maybe you’re ruminating on some unresolved family dynamic issues that came up, or perhaps you’re worried about having spent too much money on gifts. Or maybe you simply love the holidays and had a great time. Any one of these scenarios can lead to a letdown feeling.
Keep Busy While you might feel disheartened to get back to your routine, don’t forget that humans are generally creatures of habit, so this can be a good thing for your mental wellbeing. Try to make sure you’re doing a decent amount of the things you enjoy that are also a part of your daily schedule, whether that’s exercising, cooking, or working on a new project for the house. It’s all too easy to focus on what we don’t like about a situation, rather than what we appreciate. So the next time you catch yourself feeling gloomy about the return to normalcy, try to spin your thought into a positive one.
Exercise During the dark months of January and February, nothing beats the post-holiday blues better than exercising. Since this was probably on your list of New Year’s resolutions anyway, you can’t go wrong with working exercise into your routine. If you can handle it, try to incorporate small bursts of high-intensity exercising into your workouts, which can be particularly helpful at releasing feel-good endorphins. Try to make sure your workouts are fun, which will make you more likely to stick to a particular workout schedule. Since it’s the New Year, try something new, like a cardio dance class.
Learn A New Skill Because of the time we spend planning for the holidays, we can sometimes feel empty when they are over. Suddenly, there’s not much to focus on; simply put, there’s not much magic in the air. But you can avoid this by learning how to do something new. It may be something you’ve been wanting to do for years, but have always been a little scared to try, or it could be something completely random that sounds like a good distraction. The point is to have something to focus on and work towards now that the holidays are over. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do, like knitting, dancing, or baking. Pick one and commit to learning how to do it this winter.
Clean Now this one caught you off guard, right? But it turns out there are several reasons why cleaning and revamping the space around you will brighten your mood. This is especially true if there are parts of your house and are cluttered with stuff that has built up over the years. Living in an environment that is messy or boring can be a depressant, so take this time to start your spring-cleaning early. Rearrange your furniture, put new art on the walls, and get rid of those clothes you’ve had for years that you never wear. Focus on adding bright colors to your space, since they are natural mood enhancers.