It’s hard to believe that the holidays are officially over.
Whereas last month we were relishing the most wonderful time of the year, now we are in arguably the longest, most depressing month of the year. This is called post-holiday blues.
While January can be viewed as a new beginning, in reality, it is a month filled with the feeling of emptiness from a now-gone holiday season.
The holidays are a time filled with happiness and festive spirit. With the holidays, we swap out our often mundane routines into more fast-paced ones, filled with anticipation for all the activities to come.
We spend our days planning our holiday dinners, shopping for presents, seeing Christmas lights, watching holiday movies, putting up the Christmas tree and pesebre, wearing matching pj’s — the list is endless.
It then comes as no surprise that once this is all over, many of us start to feel blue, no longer feeling that intense emotion that comes with the holidays.
So for those struggling with those overwhelming feelings of nothingness, here is how you can make this time of year a bit more tolerable and enjoyable.
Get out of the house
Now more than ever, it is essential to leave your house.
Staying inside a home that is now devoid of all things Christmas related and becomes a bland, unstimulating blend of ivory and other neutral colors will only amplify the feeling of the post-holiday blues.
Instead, make it a point to spend time outside your home. Take a picturesque walk down a local park. Go on a bike ride. Take a hike down your favorite trail. So cold you can’t even fathom being outside? Try going to the gym, doing yoga, or going to a coffee shop to have your favorite warm drink while reading a book or people-watching.
Make time for things that bring you joy
It’s only natural to want to jump straight into work after having days off during the holidays. After all, there are many emails and projects to catch up on. However, don’t throw out all the rest during the 1st week of January by overloading yourself with long to-do lists.
Take it easy. Make sure you make time in your schedule to do fun activities. Go to happy hour. Catch up with a friend over dinner. Go on a fun date with your spouse.
Making sure you plan for leisure and entertainment will make January and the post-holiday slump more tolerable.
Odds are you didn’t get much sleep throughout the holidays. The countless gatherings and activities called for many late nights (and liquor, if we’re honest).
You probably didn’t feel the effects as the rush of the holidays gives you the energy to keep going. It is, therefore, only natural to feel exhausted and has a sharp decline in your mood and energy levels, making the post-holiday season even worse.
Take this time to reevaluate your sleep schedule and get back into a routine. You will feel your mood improve as you fall back into the habit of getting enough sleep. In fact, it has been found that “daily sleep quality and mood are related, with the effect of sleep quality on mood being significantly larger.”
And besides, who doesn’t like to get a good night’s sleep and feel well-rested?
In the end, the time after the holiday season can be challenging to navigate, but with the right motivation, you can overcome it.