Identifying and Overcoming the Post-holiday Blues


Each year at this time I breathe a huge sigh of relief.  The holidays are finally over and life can go back to normal.  A lot of us dread the holidays.  For me it’s a time of immense obligations and stress when all of my focus goes toward making sure that everyone has something to smile about on Christmas and the weeks surrounding Christmas. It brings out all the grudgingly over-responsible patterns in me, so I’m happy when it ends and there’s more space in my life.

There’s another side to the post-holiday period, though.  There’s that feeling of too much quiet when we all stop and look at our calendar and realize that we have to go back to the same old stuff.  For those who enjoy the fast pace of the holidays, or forget their troubles for a few weeks while they’re busy partaking in holiday cheer this time period can really be a downer.

I like the attached article about post-holiday blues because it doesn’t just give you a list of things you can do to cheer up like exercising, adopting pets, or doing volunteer work, but it talks about what to expect during the period, normalizes it, and provides some helpful and more realistic suggestions to help pull you out of your rut.   It also reminds you that sometimes the blues people feel is more than just a post-holiday syndrome.  For a lot of people there is a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness and helplessness that may be diagnosable as depression. It’s always a good idea to seek professional help if you’re feeling like you might not be able to manage your sadness on your own.

For garden-variety post-holiday blues I strongly recommend doing something new and different – really anything that changes your routines and feels new can stimulate your senses and give you a new lease on life.  Going for walks outside, starting a new exercise routine that seems fun, rather than burdensome, taking a class or starting a new hobby can make all the difference in the world.

Here’s hoping everyone had a happy and enjoyable holiday season, and is ready to start a bright new year filled with the hope and promise of even better times ahead.


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