The days after the Holiday Season can be difficult ones. Post Christmas blues are a real thing, so I wanted to give you some ideas on how to handle the feelings you may encounter.
Expect there to be some letdown.
You’ve been dealing with shopping, family members, various activities that are out of the normal routines, etc. so there’s bound to be a change in adrenaline. Getting used to your regular routine may take a bit of time, plus you still have New Year’s to deal with. Also, if your Christmas wasn’t quite what you expected, for example, if there were arguments with family or if you were dealing with the loss of a loved one, you can be left feeling let down about the lack of enjoyment you’d expected.
Choose to see the Benefits of the post-holiday time.
Now is the time to rest and relax after the craziness of preparing for Christmas or Hanukkah. Things are likely slower at work right now so you have a quieter time to enjoy yourself before the New Year starts and the busyness begins again. A break in routine is always beneficial and gives the spirit a chance to be rejuvenated. It’s a time for reflection and perhaps a new perspective as the old year ends.
Go easy on yourself regarding New Year resolutions
Set the bar too high, and you’ve already set yourself up to fail. Set it too low, and you have nothing to challenge yourself with. Instead, be realistic about your goals and make sure they are achievable without being too harsh on yourself. S.M.A.R.T. goals are the way to go:
S – Specific M – Measurable A – Achievable R – Relevant T – Timely
Make a plan
After the excitement of Christmas, going back to a regular, mundane routine is enough to lower anybody’s spirits. A good way to alleviate this feeling of boredom is to create something to look forward to. If you have the time and depending on your budget, this could be anything from planning a night out to booking a trip away. Whatever you decide, make sure it is something you will really look forward to, then start counting down the days.
Exercise your funny bone
Laughter has been proven to be an extremely effective mood booster; releasing endorphins which instantly raise spirits and give a feeling of wellbeing. To help raise your spirits, download a funny movie or go to a comedy club and spend a few hours exercising your laughter muscles.
Although feeling let-down is unlikely to put you in the mood to exercise, getting up and active is actually one of the best things you can do. Exercise not only releases mood boosting endorphins like laughter does, but if weight gain is one of the things getting you down, it will help you to quickly shift those excess pounds. Get out in the fresh air for a walk, or try swimming, yoga or aerobics to help put you in a better frame of mind.
Don’t be SAD
Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by feelings of sadness and depression that occur in the fall or winter months when the temperatures begin to drop and the days grow shorter. The depressive episode is often associated with excessive eating, sleeping, and weight gain. If you feel that you may be experiencing this disorder, a session under a Phototherapy Lamp may be in order. These special lights are designed to replace the natural sunlight you miss in the darker winter months. Look them up online and see if one might be right for you.
If you find that you are fixated on your mood post-Christmas, it is a good idea to distract yourself by putting the focus on to others. Take some time out to do some volunteer work, or if you are short of time make a commitment to doing one small act of kindness a day such as listening to a friend’s problem or smiling at a stranger. Not only will helping others distract you from your own feelings but it will help you put things into perspective. As an added bonus, smiling is contagious and helping others feel happy will also put you in a better mood.
Perk up your social life
Spending time with others can be one of the greatest mood boosters, but you can’t always rely on everybody else to make the plans. If your social life could do with a boost following Christmas, it’s time to get proactive. Pick up the phone and give someone a call or arrange to visit someone who lives a long way away. Alternatively, take up a hobby or join a club and start meeting some new people to spend time with.
Get your finances in order
One of the reasons many people feel blue after Christmas is because they have worries over their finances – and the damage Christmas has wreaked on them – hanging over their head. Rather than worrying about it, sit down and sort out your financial situation. See what shape you are in financially and, if necessary, set yourself a budget for the next few months or so. This may make you feel even worse right now but going on in ignorance means that your worries will only eat away at you. Face your finances, work out how to move forward, and then you can move on happier. Remember…
There is always hope