You’ve opened all the presents, recovered from food comas, and uploaded your holiday photos to social media. But now that the decorations are gone and parties are over, are you feeling a little depressed or anxious? You might be suffering from post-holiday blues.
The days and weeks of socializing, cooking, gift shopping, traveling, and tying up loose ends at work—all ramp up stress levels and leave little room for self-care like exercise or meditation.
With the onset of the new year, fatigue sets in, our motivation to stay healthy takes a setback, and our bodies suffer from overindulging in food and drink. You might be experiencing feelings of sadness, guilt, and anger which can kick off genuine symptoms of depression ranging from mild unhappiness to more troublesome symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, inability to eat or overeating, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and anxiety. But you don’t have to let the holiday blues get you down.
Here are some tips to kick the post-holiday blues so you can get through the rest of winter in a happier place.
Expect some letdown. One day you are laughing with friends, throwing snowballs or snuggling by the fireplace; the next day you are back to work with the same dull routine. It is normal to feel let down that the holidays are over, but you don’t have to let those feelings consume you.
Make plans. Map out your training for a spring 5K, book a mid-winter weekend away, or call a friend that you didn’t get to see over the holidays and schedule a date. Give yourself something to look forward to so that you feel better about leaving the holidays behind.
Make healthy choices. Even if you feel like you are just going through the motions, make the effort to eat healthy and get some exercise. It will do your body and your mind a world of good and keep you from spiraling downward.
Go public. After all of the socializing of the holidays, it’s common to want to hideout when you feel the holiday blues approaching. But staying connected with family and friends will help you move on from the holidays and once again enjoy your day-to-day life.