Beating The Post-Holiday Blues
January marks the end of the holiday rush and that means getting back to reality. Your bank account is drained, there are seasonal knickknacks all over the house, family members have gone back home, the leftovers are spueing out of the refrigerator, and there are pine tree needles in your socks. Oh what fun, right? Despite your new-found freedom from the stress and bustle November through January brings, you are finding yourself in a slump, completely unmotivated and drained. All those feelings of love, excitement, cheer, and joy have gone away just as quickly as your in-laws returned to Florida.
This sudden onset of changes in physical, mental, and emotional health can mimic signs and feelings of depression, like:
- Fatigue/sleep changes
- Lack of interest in daily activities
- Decreased concentration or inability to focus
- Loss of enjoyment
- Eating for emotional comfort
Instead of labeling this as a potential mental health disorder, professionals have recognized the described anomaly as a short-term condition known as the post-holiday blues. This is a circumstance in which identifying and acknowledging changes in your usual self becomes important so you can avoid long-term mental health conditions.
Now, once you’ve recognized that you’re in a seasonal funk, you can start to shift your focus on to feeling better and getting back on your feet. Here are some helpful tips to beat those holiday blues one day at a time!
Carve Out Some Post-Holiday Me-Time
Think about how hard you have worked preparing things for others over the past month or months. After spending all that time focusing on everyone around you except yourself, now more than ever you should be finding yourself some me-time. This doesn’t need to be an expensive to do, we want to minimize stress not induce it! There is no need for a mini-vacation or an extravagant spa trip – – – simply make a list of activities, sounds, places, tastes, and smells that make you feel good. Next, circle the things you want to experience. Set up a day and time in your calendar each week to enjoy those circled items. By doing this you are committing to taking care of yourself and making your me-time a priority.
Focus On The Right Now
The power of being present! Instead of focusing on stressful problems and situations, many of which we cannot control, start to think more about right now — the immediate — the present. “If you are completely present, the external forces are no longer a problem, because there is only you and that external force, in this moment, and not a million other things you need to worry about”. Get away from all the anxieties surrounding tonight, tomorrow, and this weekend. Remember, increased stress will only add to how down you are feeling by heightening the post-holiday blues.
Hit the gym, walk outside, practice yoga, take an indoor cycling class…simply get moving. We know physical movement (outside of our usual everyday living habits) is important for the mind, body, and soul. The science is no secret either! When we get active we can stimulate parts of the brain that may be less responsive when we are feeling depressed. Movement causes a release of feel-good brain chemicals that help regulate mood and fight against negative effects associated with the post-holiday blues.
Please contact your doctor if you are struggling with depression or are experiencing what appears to be long-term post-holiday blues symptoms.
Aubree “Aubs” Shofner
Fitness & Nutrition Professional
Jada Blitz Fitness