The holidays can be a hectic time, with the average family juggling travel, budget-busting gift buying, and overindulgence at the dinner table. But as crazy as it can be, the aftermath is even worse — one study found that 64% of Americans routinely deal with post-holiday blues, a general feeling of malaise that sets in shortly after New Year’s.
But before you start thinking about how to get diagnosed for depression or looking for a licensed therapist near you at a wellness clinic such as Body and Mind Health Partners, it can be helpful to step back, assess things calmly, and see if you can’t solve your post-holiday blahs with a little self-care and a few modest goals. Let’s look at five ways to bust through those post-holiday blues.
1. Set Goals — and Follow Through
Experts say a lot of the post-holiday letdown is caused by the natural and predictable letdown that comes after a period of whirlwind activity. So instead of letting yourself sink into depressive inactivity, keep yourself busy by setting some new goals for the new year.
2. Support Your Future Self
Another big factor in your post-holiday blues is trepidation and uncertainty related to the new year. It’s natural to feel a little insecurity about the future, but the best way to combat these feelings is to prepare for the unknown. Look at your nest egg, and realistically assess if you could fall back on it, if necessary.
Our physical surroundings have a huge effect on our psychological well-being, so it stands to reason that a deep cleaning of your living space might improve your mood.
One popular method of decluttering is to get rid of any items that don’t actively bring you enjoyment. Using this method, you could possibly get rid of at least half your belongings, and you probably won’t miss them. When it comes to your closets, throw out or donate anything you haven’t worn in two years or more.
4. Treat Yourself to Self-Care
Although the holidays can feel like a season of fun and indulgence, they can actually be quite difficult, especially if you’re in a provider or caretaker role. Buying expensive gifts for your loved ones, juggling irregular work schedules and managing family conflicts are all standard parts of the holiday season, but they can be very demanding on you.
Now that the holidays have passed, give yourself some “you time.” Take a mental health day off work, book a spa treatment, go shopping, take a hike in the woods, or visit a holistic center or wellness clinic for some soothing alternative therapies.
5. Get Out of the House
Experts have theorized that one cause of the post-holiday blues is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is caused by winter’s short days. It’s possible a shortage of sunlight and fresh air is exacerbating your holiday hangover. The solution? A nice midday walk could make you feel a lot better!
For more personal tips on feeling better in 2022, make an appointment with a mental health doctor at Body and Mind Health Center.