10 Ways to Overcome the Post-Holiday Blues

Are you feeling a little sad and depressed these days? Perhaps you’ve experienced one or more of these scenarios:

  • The grandkids left in minivans stacked with treasured gifts (or half-broken toys).
  • The holiday parties are over. Even the gift baskets at the office are gone.
  • Your mailbox is now filled with credit card bills rather than Christmas cards.
  • Your house is looking desolate without the tree and decorations.
  • The absence of “Happy Holiday” wishes from everyone you meet.
  • You’ve gained 10 pounds and already broken your New Year’s resolutions.

Returning to a less-festive routine after the holidays isn’t easy. Here are some tips that might help you adjust.

De-clutter your living space. From closets and drawers to the pantry and garage; you’ll find things you never knew you had or needed! And while you’re at it, rearrange the furniture. If your home feels dark and drab, light up your life by placing a stand-up lamp in a dark corner.

Perform a random act of kindness. Continue the “feel-good” holiday spirit by placing a call to a shut-in friend, wishing people you encounter a great day, inviting someone to go ahead of you in line, letting another driver take the parking space you had your eyes on, paying for the car behind you in the drive-thru or any other kind gesture you can imagine.

Get outside. Green exercise (surrounded by nature and sunlight) is good for the soul. Play ball with your child or fetch with the dog, ride your bike, take a walk, work in the garden. If you live in snow country, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing! Also, try bringing the outside in by planting an indoor herb garden, purchasing a flowering plant or just stretching in front of a sun-drenched window.

Host game night. From charades to Old Maid, there’s certain to be chuckles all evening! Invite new friends you made over the holidays, or old friends who you haven’t connected with in a while.

Try something new every day. Perhaps a different route to work, a new food, involvement in a new organization, a new hobby, a new language — something you have an interest in and have always wanted to do.

Have a photographic memory. Re-live your favorite holiday moments by going through all of the photos you took, printing out your favorites and organizing them into albums — or better yet, using them to create a customized tumbler.

Add Omega-3 to your post-holiday diet. These fatty acids are said to elevate your mood so that you feel like exercising again. Walnuts, fish and flaxseed are great sources.

Make a budget — and stick to it. It’s amazing how being debt-free can contribute to chasing away the holiday blues, especially if you overspent on gifts.

Volunteer. If you volunteered during the holidays, consider continuing to do so. The needs don’t disappear when the holidays end. And if you can’t spare your time, perhaps you can donate some of your Christmas gifts or the unneeded items you discovered when you de-cluttered your home.

Start planning your next activity. Whether it’s for the coming weekend, the next holiday or your summer vacation, the anticipation of looking forward to an event is often half the fun!

– Judi Bauer