The holidays can be the highlight of your year, but what happens when they come to an end? When it’s time to get back to “real life,” you may find yourself sinking into a post-holiday depression. Learn about this very real (and very common!) condition and how you can go from feeling down in the dumps to refreshed and excited for what’s next.
Expect and Plan for The Blues
You’ve probably heard of this phenomenon before, yet it’s completely understandable to wonder, “Is post-holiday depression real?” It might seem like a buzzword, but mental health experts say these blues are very real — with very legitimate causes.
After the holidays, you’re tired, both physically and emotionally. Maybe you traveled or interacted with loved ones you rarely see, or perhaps you ran yourself ragged trying to shop, cook, and clean as the host extraordinaire. But one thing is for certain: you likely enjoyed having plenty of things to look forward to.
Suddenly, the holidays are over, and with them have gone the guests, events, and general excitement. Now, you’re stuck figuring out how to deal with post-holiday blues. First, understand why you feel down and know that it’s normal! Give yourself patience and grace, and plan for some extra TLC. By knowing it might be a rough adjustment back to “normal life,” you won’t be so startled by these very valid feelings.
Embrace a Forward-Thinking Mindset
Thanksgiving is long gone, Christmas lights have come down, and the New Year’s Eve countdown has ended. Instead of dwelling on everything that is over, start thinking about what is beginning. It may sound cliché, but a fresh, new year is an exciting opportunity for a clean slate!
What do you want to have accomplished by this year’s close? What do you genuinely want to do with this time? You have 12 months to make this year something special, and that is a gift in itself. It’s OK to be sad that the holiday season is over, but don’t be fooled into thinking there aren’t plenty of wonderful things ahead.
Speak with Loved Ones
A large part of the post-holiday blues is knowing you may not be spending as much quality time with loved ones in the near future. One way to combat feelings of isolation or loneliness is to focus on communicating with those people as day-to-day life resumes.
Ideally, this means catching up regularly in person, over the phone, or on video chat if there’s distance. Text messaging and emailing is convenient, but there is something about using our actual voice that makes communication more meaningful!
Try to make this part of your routine, whether it’s monthly coffee dates with your cousins, biweekly Zoom calls with your parents, or weekly chats with your hometown best friend. It’s easy to get in a lonely, post-holiday rut of work and responsibility, but remember, connection is crucial.
Create an Action Plan for a Big, Exciting Goal
At the start of the new year, in the dead of winter, it’s easy for the days to blend together in one gray, monotonous blur. Give each day of each week a new purpose by setting a goal and creating a step-by-step action plan for how you’ll get there!
Maybe this year, you’ll finally start your small business! Maybe you’d like to run a marathon this summer. Or perhaps, you’re ready to take the leap and go back to school. The post-holiday “slump” can become the perfect starting line for whatever goal you’ve been dreaming of, and finally, bring it to fruition.
Get Some Fresh Air and Move Everyday
Thanksgiving and Christmas are the best times to treat yourself, but all that indulgence can wind up making us feel… well, not our best. It’s easy to find yourself wallowing in post-holiday gloom when you’re stuck indoors, scrolling through social media, or zoning out in front of a laptop.
Make an extra effort to get fresh air and sunshine wherever possible, whether that’s by walking the dog more frequently or choosing to ride your bike on a nice, sunny day. You’ll be surprised by what a little vitamin D and an extra boost of endorphins can do for staving off post-holiday blues.
Another major perk of getting out of the house is enjoying increased interaction with others, which can be seriously lacking after holiday festivities. And this is even more beneficial if you live alone or have recently moved to a new city and would like to make some friends!
Forget Spring Cleaning — Do Some New Year Cleaning!
Did you know that sprucing up your space is one of the best ways to boost your mood and feel accomplished? Start by getting rid of the clutter, donating or tossing whatever doesn’t serve a purpose, and rearranging furniture to give your space an instant makeover. Spend a weekend doing those DIY home improvement projects you’ve been putting off, and make your home cozier and more inviting to this new year of great opportunities!
If it all needs to go and you just need a clean start, turn to CORT. Make your home a stress-free environment by visiting CORT.com and renting furniture that brings both a sense of tranquility and liveliness to your space!