How to beat post-holiday depression and blues
After a holiday season filled with good cheer, it’s common to feel a bit of a let down — sadness and disappointment, even depression — when the excitement from all the festivities are officially over. This mood is often referred to as post-holiday depression and the blues.
According to NAMI or the National Alliance on Mental Illness, post-holiday depression is a real phenomenon that can affect anyone after the holidays are over. Whether it’s because of your return to daily routine, the stress from familial obligations and too much partying, financial strain due to spending money on gifts, or simply missing the joy of the holiday season, post-holiday depression can be a serious issue.
Let’s take a look at post-holiday depression and how you can beat your holiday blues.
Reasons why you get post-holiday blues
Just as people who naturally have lower energy levels or who suffer from depression or anxiety could be more prone to developing seasonal affective disorder, post-holiday blues can be caused by a variety of factors. It’s important to understand why you feel down so that you can take steps to beat it. Common causes can include:
- Letdown after the excitement and anticipation of the holidays have ended
- Overindulgence in food, drink, or activities during the holidays
- Stress from planning and attending events
- Feeling overwhelmed by family dynamics
- Financial strain after spending money on gifts or activities during the holidays
- Grief due to missing friends or loved ones who are no longer around to enjoy the holiday season with you.
Likewise, the expectations and pressure to have a romantic and perfect day on Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming and can trigger manic and depressive episodes. However, it’s important to note that post-holiday depression can also be a symptom of a more serious condition such as clinical depression and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing severe or prolonged symptoms.
Ways to cope with post-holiday depression
Now that you know some of the most common causes of post-holiday depression, let’s look at how to beat it. Here are a few tips on how to get through your post-holiday blues:
Acknowledge your feelings
The first step in managing post-holiday blues is to acknowledge that you are feeling down. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions without judgment or guilt will help you identify what is causing your feelings of sadness or disappointment. Once you know why you’re feeling down, it will be easier for you to address the problem directly.
Focus on self-care
One of the best things you can do for yourself after a big holiday like Christmas, New Year, or Hanukkah is focus on self-care. That could mean anything from indulging in your favorite hobbies or taking some time away from work or school to go for a walk outside or just relax and watch a movie. Taking some time for yourself will help restore balance in your life so that you can start fresh with renewed energy.
Reestablish your routine
Routines provide us with a sense of stability even in times of chaos. After the holiday season has passed, routines help us return back to our regular lives and start anew. Establishing a routine may seem difficult at first but it can actually be quite simple: set an alarm clock each morning; make breakfast; follow your regular work schedule; use that extra hour after work for something that relaxes you; perhaps an activity like reading, walking in nature, or yoga.
Doing so will create a sense of security during this transition from one season of life into another. On top of that, having a routine will also help regulate your moods by providing structure in your life which helps prevent loneliness and boredom from settling in too deeply. It might even help increase productivity!
Create new goals
When we reach the end of one year and begin another, it’s natural to want to set goals for ourselves for the upcoming year. Setting goals helps us focus on what we want out of life and gives us something tangible to strive for in order to improve our lives in significant ways. Take some time to sit down and think about what you want from life this upcoming year—it could be anything from starting a new hobby or learning a new language. Whatever it is, make sure these goals are realistic so that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself trying to achieve them all at once. Take it one step at a time.
Connect with others around you
Having meaningful connections with others is essential for mental health and well being during any time of year but especially over the holidays when loneliness is more pronounced than usual. Reach out via text or phone call (or even better – in person) and spend time with people who genuinely care about you and have your best interest at heart. Keeping human connection alive during this time will help keep those post-holiday blues at bay while allowing positive energy flow naturally throughout your day-to-day activities.
Volunteer your time
Not only can volunteering give you an opportunity to meet new people who share your same interests and values, but it also provides an outlet for your energy which will help alleviate feelings of anxiety or frustration associated with post-holiday depression. Volunteering can also give you a sense of purpose which can help reduce feelings of loneliness or emptiness associated with post-holiday blues. So find an organization in your area that needs volunteers—whether it’s helping out at an animal shelter or tutoring children—and give back however you can.
If the post-holiday blues have become overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help from friends, family members, co-workers, or even professionals who specialize in mental health counseling. Talking through your feelings with someone who understands what you are going through can be incredibly therapeutic and provide clarity on how to move forward with renewed positivity and optimism.
Beat post-holiday blues
At times like these, it’s important to remember that we are not alone in this struggle. There is always help available for those struggling with mental health issues or post-holiday blues. We encourage anyone who might need assistance to reach out and get the help they deserve.
At Nao Medical, we understand just how challenging this difficult time can be, which is why our experts are here to offer gentle and effective advice on how to take care of your mental health. We are dedicated to providing the necessary support to make sure that the journey towards better health and wellness is as smooth and easy as possible.