The holiday season has come to a close. The lights and decorations are packed away, the parties and gatherings have concluded and all that was anticipated is past. Even if the holidays brought you all that you desired you may notice that you are feeling sad. Many people experience what is commonly referred to as the post-holiday blues.
The post- holiday blues are characterized by fatigue, feelings of discouragement, low motivation even for things you enjoy, pessimism, bouts of sadness and sleeping either too much or too little. A focus on disappointments and losses from the previous year and a negative self-assessment are also common. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may be experiencing the post- holiday blues. So what can you do about this? What is the remedy?
First, don’t go it alone! Regardless of a desire to isolate make every opportunity to connect with others and to socialize. Withdrawing from people only intensifies the feelings of sadness associated with the post-holiday blues.
Second, do what is necessary to engage in effective self-care. This involves healthy eating behaviors, adequate sleep and regular exercise.
Third, put the holiday season and the previous year in proper perspective. Rarely are our expectations fully met. Assuming that the holidays will go perfectly is a sure set-up for disappointment. Make the best out of your experiences and be intentional about a positive attitude. As you reflect on the previous year, consider what you have accomplished and choose to let go of what remains unfinished. There may also be a need to give yourself permission to grieve losses from the previous year as well.
Finally, realize that you are not alone, many people are feeling the blues as well.
So what if things don’t get better? If after several weeks or months your symptoms are not resolving and in fact are intensifying, you may be experiencing something more than the post-holiday blues; you may be experiencing depression. The that case, it is recommended that you seek out assistance from a skilled counselor or therapist and consult with your family physician. Depression is a real illness and may make everyday functioning a challenge. The good news is that depression is treatable and with an effective treatment plan you can feel better.
By Michelle George