Mental Health Monday

Post-Holiday Blues

The holidays are over…ish. Or six days from now they will be finished in full. Unless you have a January birthday like me…but that doesn’t count. It’s not a holiday.

Holidays are stressful. We all know that holidays cause stress. It’s not even all negative stress. There’s a lot of activity, socialization, laughter, etc. But we all get worn down from the running around, socialization, and activities. We aren’t the energizer bunny!

That means we do slow down.

But what happens when we slow down after the holidays? Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or any other religious holiday around this time of year, there’s a lot of family gatherings, New Year’s parties, holiday parties, blah blah. We get a lot of social time in. A lot of feel good foods and drinks. A lot of happy memories and special people come back into our lives.

And then it’s gone. Just as quickly as the season takes us, it drops us off and we’re left sitting amidst a pile of wrapping paper, dirty dishes, and music we are no longer in the mood for. Odds are, we’re tired. We’re coming down from the stress, the crazy happiness, the crazy business. Everything is settling and so are we.

But then what?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on

A couple things happen. The first is that we don’t return to our normal schedule. But we should. We’re in the habit of eating cookies and chocolate. We’re in the habit of missing a workout. Now maybe not all of us are like that, but a fair chunk of us are.

So if that’s our first problem, our first solution is simple.

Return to regularly scheduled programming.

Don’t let one week turn into six months of bad habits. The few days after Christmas and New Year’s really are perfect for pushing ourselves back into old habits or creating new ones. (That’ll be another topic for another time).

We have a few days of grumpiness and sadness and the post-holiday blues as I like to think of them. During that time, we can set up ourselves for success. We can look at our lives, our schedules and start to tinker with them. Add in some new things, new goals. Make sure we return to an exercise plan as well as a healthy eating diet.

The most important thing though is forcing ourselves to get up and do things.

The first week or so of anything whether it’s running consistently or just returning to our normal morning wake up time, is awful. That’s a hard and fast rule. Sometimes, if we’re adding something in for the first time like exercise or cutting out sugar, it’s a lot longer. It might be a month. Or two.

The point is we have to understand that it won’t be fun at first. We will not enjoy it. We won’t like it, we won’t be happy, we will be grumpy as we do it but we are choosing to do it. Sometimes you have to just grit your teeth and get through it.

That’s what we need to understand as we try to come of out the post-holiday blues. We have got to just do it. Quit whining and get out there. Do what you need to do.

And no, it probably won’t be fun for awhile.

Photo by on

Oh yeah, cheer up.

That’s number two. What does that mean though?

For me, it means recognizing that the high that is the holiday season is over. It’s done and of course day to day life will feel a little drab in comparison to family gatherings, meals, presents, holiday music, blah, blah, blah.

It also means letting myself have a touch more fun in the days or week following the holidays. Playing video games with my hubby, putting on loud music, relaxing by fire, making a concerted effort to laugh more, etc. I’ll try to put a little more life into my days. This also helps me from getting really down.

Sometimes, you do have to fake it a little bit.

It also means giving myself some leeway. It’s okay to be a little lethargic. It’s okay to be a little down. It’s okay to even be just a touch less productive. What isn’t okay is giving up and sitting/wallowing.

Photo by Pixabay on

Get some sleep.

Here’s the last part of this whole deal…we need sleep. Whether it’s because we’ve eaten a ton of sugar, preservatives, alcohol or haven’t worked out, or have been crazy busy, or haven’t slept we need to sleep. And for that matter, we need to take care of ourselves.

Lots and lots and lots of people get sick after the holidays. Travel plus lowered immune system from increased stress, increased sugar, and decreased sleep leave us vulnerable. Do yourself and your body a favor. After the major holidays, get sleep! If you can sleep in or get to bed earlier for the following week, do so.

Help your body. Get rest. Eat well. Get rest!

Remember, if you’re feeling down after all the celebration, happiness of the season don’t worry about it. Take better care of yourself right now to stay healthy and sane. Resume your normal habits, maybe even start some new ones!

As well, remember that you don’t have to let go of the holiday joy just because everything has ended. You don’t have to go back and feel miserable. There are so many different ways we can continue being kind to each other and ourselves. There’s nothing saying that we must stop being nice once December is over.

With all that being said, I hope you all had a lovely holiday/holiday season! Keep on being kind in the new year and if you follow my yoga channel Wild N Free yoga on youtube (free yoga anyone?) I’ll be posting again next year on New Year’s Day! Until then, you can always enjoy my 12 Days of Yoga Challenge.

2 thoughts on “Post-Holiday Blues”

  1. Carol Daux, that is true. It is always hard for me when the children leave to go back home. The time with them is wonderful! I know I will see them again soon, I am happy for the times I have, but it is a tad bit sad when they leave. You never want the good times to end, you know.


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