It’s the post-Christmas, post-Hanukkah, post-eating, post-celebrating time of year- the new year, the return to work and reality are upon us. Many of our brains respond with new found feelings of dread otherwise known as the post-holiday blues.
If you’re feeling overwhelmingly down now that the Holidays are over and you are back to work, keep reading. Here’s what we know about the post-holiday blues and a few tips on how to get through them.
The big factor in post-holiday blues is that your brain must shift between contrasting emotional experiences. Its hard to shift from the highs of the holiday period to the lows in post-holiday weeks. The decorations, celebrations and social gatherings during the Holidays make our perception of the post-holiday period much more depressing and boring than it really is.
Fixing post-holiday blues is a matter of adjusting expectations and managing the symptoms. The new year is blank canvas with endless potential. Think positive, get back in the moment. Stop looking back at the past and instead, combat the blues by packing your days full of exciting activities and new goals. Here are a few ideas:
- Set a Routine- A routine can help your physical and mental health get back to normal after the chaos of the holidays. Start by setting a wake-up time and a time to go to bed every single day and stick to it. Then add other important items into your daily schedule such as meals and workouts.
- Take a Junk Food Fast- To hit the reset button, opt out of high-fat foods, processed foods, sugary snacks, and alcohol for the month of January and see how you feel. Chances are your mood will level off and things that bothered you won’t seem so bad.
- De-Clutter and Give Things to Charity- Cleaning and de-cluttering can be therapeutic. You can create space for beauty and amazing possibilities. You can give to others by giving away things you no longer need. What is your vision for your life and how do your possessions fit in?
- Make Money and Budget – Make more money. Start a second business. Find a safe place for your cash. Budget and track your spending to help better manage your money.
- Volunteer- Doing well by doing good can make the other things in life seem more bearable. Tutor a student, help a neighbor. Visit a local nursing home. Just do something for someone else.
- Learn- Take a second language or learn a trade. Learning can shake things up in your mind and help head you in a new direction. Flood your head with knowledge instead of thoughts of anxiety and boredom.
- Schedule People Time- Now is a great time to schedule time with friends you may not see often. You should look for ways to connect with others in person. Real connections work well to improve your overall mood.
Finally, remember, “This too shall pass” your boredom, lowered energy and unhappiness will certainly give way to something new and exciting soon.