Beat the Post-Holiday Blues

Now that the three big holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year\’s) are behind us and the frantic pace slows down or grinds to a halt, there\’s plenty of time to think about the money we\’ve spent and the relationships with friends and relatives that aren\’t as close as we had hoped. It still gets dark early, there are no more Christmas lights, presents to buy, and no more parties or dinners to look forward to. The trees have shed their leaves and snow is in the air. It\’s back to “business-as-usual” at work or school. How do we move through these winter doldrums?

You can beat the post-holiday blues with a little planning and organization. Here are several antidotes for the post-holiday blues:

Take a “Time out”:

  1. Upload and print your holiday photos. Create a scrapbook or make an online album of your holiday season. Collect the good memories (ask friends and family to contribute, too!), add subtitles and distribute for all to see. Many online photo sites (such as Flick’r or Google Photo) make this easy.
  2. Plan a trip for sometime in the winter after the holidays. Even a weekend getaway will give you something exciting to look forward to.
  3. Go shopping. Buy a few new items of clothing with your holiday gift money or use those holiday gift cards you’ve received.
  4. If you don’t want to face shopping again, just get in the tub and relax. Bring a good book and a scented candle or essential oils in a small burner. This can change your mood very quickly.
  5. Throw a party. While you might not be up to it immediately following the holiday season, come mid-January you could be ready for some fun! Try a re-gifting party; you\’ll beat the post-holiday blues and recycle at the same time.Alternatively, a Hawaiian luau party can change your mood from winter-gray to summer-bright!

Work out

  1. If you’ve gained weight over the holidays, now\’s the best time to take it off. Join a gym and go regularly. Even if you haven’t gained weight, exercise will help you feel better. Despite its reputation, it can radically improve your mood.
  2. Music helps, too. Set up an inspiring playlist on your iPod. Download songs you find stimulating and play them when you\’re exercising or any time you find yourself starting to feel down.
  3. Take a walk (bundle up against the cold). It will help keep spirits high while also providing you needed exercise. Go outside for some natural sunlight, which can help alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  4. Take your vitamins and eat right. After the excesses of the holidays, getting your diet in order with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains may go a long way to improving how you feel. Adding vitamins and antioxidants can help cover any nutrients you may have missed.

Help out

  1. The best thing to help yourself is to help others. Look around and see what is needed. If you see that your elderly or handicapped neighbor is having trouble with the snow, get out there and shovel. Invite friends and family over for hot cocoa and a chat; or bring it to them.
  2. Give your unwanted items to charity. Cleaning up your home can dramatically improve your state of mind and donating to those in need will compound these good feelings.
  3. Tackle your New Year’s resolutions list. Write the list down and cross off items as you complete them. This will give you a sense of accomplishment.
  4. Lastly, don\’t forget You. The holidays are so busy that you’ve probably ignored yourself. Beat the blues by allowing time to do something for yourself.
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