From changes in the amount of light (which can trigger seasonal depression) to a common feeling of letdown after the holiday season, many of us feel a little blue after the holidays have ended. If you’ve been very active, have not been practicing good self-care and have basically been cramming extra tasks into every day just to get through the holidays, you are not alone. The good news is you can restore, rest and revitalize in the days following the festivities and beat the post holiday blues.
7 Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues
1. Recognize they exist
You’ve spent weeks visiting friends and family, getting in touch with those you do not see or speak to often enough and enjoying special occasion fun. The arrival of a slower, more solitary January that launches you back into your every day routine is kind of a letdown. If you recognize this for what it is — a reaction to change and even the feeling of missing loved ones, then you can deal with it. There is nothing wrong with you — this is simply a reaction to the change from the busy, bustling holidays to your normal routine.
2. Stay in Touch
You do not have to limit your contact with friends and family to one or two specific months of the year. If you feel lonely because you were surrounded by family due to the holiday season and now are back on your own, reach out. Celebrate birthdays, unconventional holidays and just call to say hi. By reaching out during other times of the year, you have a stronger, better support network and will be less likely to feel bereft and alone when the holidays end.
3. Get Organized
If your Christmas tree, menorah or snow men decorations keep reminding you that the holidays are over, take them down. Create a comforting, closing ritual complete with careful packing and organization of these items, along with some hot cocoa and snacks to mark the occasion. Tuck these items safely away until next year and bring out some non-holiday decor instead. You’ll love having a fresh start for the new season and won’t be reminded that the holidays are over every time you walk through your living space.
4. Pamper yourself
Choose a few things to add luxury and comfort to your space; a plush new throw and reading lamp for the living room, fresh soaps and bath items for the bathroom and an appointment to splurge on a massage or beauty treatment are a good start.
5. Get ready for 2019
This year is drawing to a close, and that opens up exciting new possibilities for next year. Get your new planner and some fresh journal supplies and get ready for the new year in style. From adding birthdays so you have a built-in reason to reconnect with loved ones to writing down your hopes and goals for the next year, a planning session or two can be incredibly motivating and shift your focus forward after the holidays have ended.
6. Enjoy a season of rest
You may have loved the holiday season, but changes are you were also busy, overbooked and overwhelmed. Constantly running at full speed can significantly impact your mood and outlook. Take some time to rest and refocus after the holiday season and you’ll feel less stressed and more balanced in just a few days.
If you let your fitness routine lapse during the holidays, you are not alone. Physical activity keeps your mood upbeat and positive — and for a while you likely replaced a day at the gym with a fast paced shopping expedition. When the shopping is done and you’re out of the gym habit, you could feel down and unmotivated. Take time for a workout or even a brisk walk and you’ll feel better both mentally and physically.
Examining why you are feeling a little blue, understanding it is natural and taking time to prepare yourself for the fresh new year can help you minimize the holiday blues and get you excited about the new year. Simple shifts in behavior and thinking have a big impact on your feelings — so don’t be afraid to make some changes this time around. You do not have to suffer from post-holiday blues; use the techniques above to channel your activities into a happier, healthier direction instead.