[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The presents have been unwrapped, the Christmas tree is gone, and you’re tuckering in for the long stretch of cold that is January and February. This gloomy part of the year after all festivities are over is called post-holiday depression, and it plagues thousands of people each year.
For the past few months, people were building up the holiday expectations – Shopping, flashy festive events, family gatherings, and an overall cheerful spirit hanging in the air. The lights, good food, music, and free flowing money of the holidays can be the peak of happiness for some people, but after the grand finale, we’re left with a sense of “what now?” as the reality of it all sets in.
You may not have had the winter blues all year long, but after Christmas and New Year’s are over, something can change inside and you’re left to reflect on the good and bad parts of the holiday season.
What Is Post-Holiday Depression and How You Can Fight It
Several realities can cause post-holiday depression:
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
- It’s the end of vacation with 60+ bitterly cold and dark days ahead
- Weight gain from too much holiday cheer
- Seems like there’s nothing new to look forward to
Post-holiday depression is more of a unique and temporary state of mental distress, usually lasting for just a week or two until you get adjusted to reality. However, if the depression doesn’t seem to getting better, you may be slipping into a more serious type of depression and you should talk to a psychologist.
Beating the Winter Blues
Were you enjoying spending more time with your friends and family? Did the spirited music and decorations make you happy? Just because it’s January doesn’t mean the good times have to end.
Stay in Touch
Keep calling and planning activities with your friends and family! All too often, we use the holidays as a crutch to justify forming bonds with people, only to let it fall apart after the holidays are over. There is no shame in calling or writing to someone just to say hello, make plans, and let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Call your friends and family to say it was nice to see them. If you didn’t see them over the holidays, tell them you wish you could have
- Reminiscent about what you liked and didn’t like about the celebrations
- Talk about your feelings, especially if you’re sad that the holidays are over
- Make plans to get together soon. And most importantly, follow through on those plans!
You might not want your Christmas tree hanging around after December (or maybe you do), but you can still keep your home lively and interesting.
- Rearrange a room to open up the space or get a new perspective
- Buy a new lamp or two: lack of lighting can increase feelings of depression and SAD
- Replace indoor Christmas lights with cheerful string lights in your kitchen and bedroom to create a happy summery vibe
- If you can afford it (use those gift cards!), buy some new home decorations that will replace your holiday decorations
Try Something New
Starting a new routine or hobby is another great way to get your mind off the cold and dark and to give you something to look forward to. You can tie it into a New Year’s resolution, rekindle an old passion you had earlier in life, or just jump into the deep end and try something completely new.
- Need to burn off some of those Christmas cookies?
- Make up your own workout routine with simple weights, resistance bands, and cardio exercises
- Home workout programs by Beachbody are affordable, convenient, and really get you sweating
- Scout out the cheapest gym membership (like the local YMCA) and sign up for a one month membership
- Some gyms offer free trials
- Signing up for a 1 to 3 year membership might be a costly mistake if you find that working out in a gym isn’t for you
- Take a class at your local community college or library: Keeping your brain active is one of the best ways to prevent depression
- Sign up for music lessons
- Keep a daily journal or just write free flowing thoughts in a notebook: Writing down thoughts and ideas has been shown to help fight depression and anxiety
- Check out the awesome Goodreads community of literature lovers and find a new book to read
- Buy a paint set and canvas: Paint on your own or sign up for a local painting class
The most important part about fighting post-holiday depression is staying active, not isolating yourself, and staying in touch with friends and family. Happiness doesn’t depend on the holiday or time of year – it’s all about what you do with your time, environment, and the people around you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_cta_button call_text=”Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our newsletter and make sure you don’t miss our latest posts! ” title=”Subscribe to newsletter” target=”_self” color=”btn-primary” icon=”wpb_mail” size=”btn-large” position=”cta_align_bottom” css_animation=”right-to-left” href=”http://www.beatthewinterblues.info/newsletter-signup/”][/vc_column][/vc_row]