ByPam Adams LMSW
For many people the time following the Christmas and New Year’s holidays brings feelings of feeling let down and somewhat sad. The holidays are both joyful and stressful at once: gifts to buy and return, people to visit or to have over, parties, special food to cook and eat, and being with relatives you don’t often see. But then suddenly everything is over.
Returning to your usual routine can dampen your mood merely by the absence of exciting things to do and to look forward to. Also if Christmas or New Year’s wasn’t quite as good as what you expected, you can feel disappointed by the lack of enjoyment. Here are some ideas for dealing with feeling down after the holidays:
1. Expect some letdown. If you can reassure yourself that feeling a little down after the holidays is a normal feeling given the situation, you are giving yourself permission to feel these feelings and to know that they will pass once you have readjusted to your usual routine.
2. Be kind to yourself. As you are settling back into your normal routine, do not pressure yourself to immediately perform at the top of your game at work or at home. At first consider doing only what is necessary and gradually work up to your usual pace. Allowing yourself to get enough rest will also help.
3. Do something you have been wanting to do. During the holiday rush, you probably did not have the time to do something for yourself. Pick something like reading a book you have wanted to read, watch a movie you have been wanting to see, or go for a walk. Satisfying this need doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money, just do something that you will enjoy.
4. Invite one or two close friends over for a casual lunch or meet somewhere quiet for coffee. Spending quiet, personal time with a close friend or two can help ease you back into the flow of human relationships that is not focused on doing big things in a big way. Instead, this type of getting together is just about people enjoying being with each other.
5. Exercise in a way you are comfortable with. Even if you don’t want to exercise for health reasons, exercise is good at boosting your mood. It also gets you moving again. Pick whatever you like – running, walking, cycling, using or exercise dvds.
6. Do something that gives you something to look forward to. Some activities are: taking a new class for a hobby or interest you have, planning to have dinner once a week with friends or anything else that helps you have something to enjoy in the near future.