How to Overcome the Post-Holiday Blues with 3 Simple Steps
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The holiday season is a busy time of year filled with social events, shopping and fun traditions. Once the festivities are over and you return to reality, it's common to feel let down.
Pamela Walker, PhD, a clinical psychologist and partner of Cooper Aerobics Center, discusses how you can prepare yourself to take control of your emotions after the holidays.
1. Be aware the post-holiday blues are not uncommon. With any busy time of year, it's normal to experience a post-event letdown, especially if you've spent a large amount of time preparing for and anticipating the event. Once you get past the celebrations, it can feel like you are on the downside of an emotional roller coaster. You spent so much time and energy reaching the peak, but on the other side of that is an inevitable descent.
If you are aware of emotions that come with the post-holiday letdown, which may feel like depression, you should discuss your feelings with someone instead of internalizing your emotional state. As you share with someone else, you may quickly realize you are not alone and others are experiencing similar feelings.
One of the reasons people love the holidays is because of the anticipation. If you are prone to experiencing the post-holiday blues, plan for the New Year after your loved ones have gone and holiday festivities are over. Whether you book a getaway weekend in mid-January or start thinking about arranging a spring break trip, future plans give you something to look forward to in the coming months.
2. Get out of that rut. The holidays often include events and activities outside your normal routine, providing opportunities to break the cycle of predictability in your typical daily life. On the other side of that, it's easy for you to fall prey to feeling stuck in the same old rut after the excitement of the holiday season is over.
To avoid the post-holiday blues, provide yourself opportunities for ongoing change and stimulation in your life. Try one of these ideas to enliven your familiar, predictable routine:
- Learn something new – Try a new exercise class or take up a new hobby, such as learning a new language or taking music lessons.
- Volunteer for a local organization – Give back to a cause you believe in.
- Engage in social events – Be proactive and schedule opportunities for social stimulation.
- Begin a new project – Start improvements on your house or create a new homemade craft.
- Set a goal – Challenge yourself each and every day to broaden your horizon by doing one thing differently.
3. Boost your self-care. During the holidays, your self-care can suffer as you focus on preparing for holiday parties and family gatherings, decorating and shopping. The cumulative effects of less sleep and increased alcohol consumption leading up to and during the holidays are both factors that can result in a feeling of depression after the adrenaline rush ends.
Before your personal health is thrown off track, aim to establish a routine. Focus on regulating all of the elements that help you to feel balanced and content and take time to establish a positive self-care routine.
Don't let the post-holiday blues take you by surprise. Understand this is a common emotion and follow these suggestions to cope with your feelings.
For more information about Cooper Aerobics, click here or call 972.560.2667.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications and Cooper Clinic partner, Pamela Walker, PhD.