The bills are flying in, you have to get back to school/work, it is still cold and dark outside, and you have taken down all those cheerful Holiday lights. Welcome to post-holiday blues. If you are suffering from them, then this article is for you. Read on to find out how to overcome post holiday blues in 15 easy ways.
1. Take it easy
Avoid getting into work with full force. Do not overdo things or take assignments that stress you out. Allow yourself some time to relax and unwind. If possible, take the first weekend off to go away somewhere and rejuvenate. Alternatively, just relax, read, watch some movies and allow your mind to quiet down.
2. Organize your work
Spend some time analyzing what tasks need your attention on a priority basis. Organize the work from the most important to the least important tasks. You can then start with the simplest tasks and tick them off as you finish. This will help you feel better as your workload diminishes. The same is true for chores at home as well.
3. Avoid excess alcohol
People often turn to alcohol when they feel the post holiday blues coming in. This is the worst thing to do since alcohol further dehydrates the body and throws you deeper into sadness. Instead, drink more water or sip on herbal teas which do not harm the body.
4. Eat mood elevating foods
Many foods provide us with important amino acids that work directly on the endocrine system and stimulate feel good hormones. These include L-tryptophan and L-tryosine amino acids. You can get them through low fat dairy, seafood and fish. Eat plenty of nuts, seeds and fortified cereals. Make sure you also eat food rich in Vitamin B complex and Magnesium as both are associated with the mood and depression. Avoid all kinds of nutritional deficiencies and eat a nourishing, healthy diet.
5. Focus on good health
Now is the time to implement all those New Year’s Resolutions you have set for yourself. Focus on healthy eating habits. If you have decided to lose weight, now is the time to join the gym or take up any form of exercise. If possible, enlist the help of a friend.
6. Exercise everyday
A brisk walk or jog, cycling for 30 minutes, Yoga or pilates can all help you overcome post holiday blues. Aerobic exercises increase the heart rate and boost feel good hormones which flush out toxins from the lymphatic system.At work : take a walk during lunch and use the stairs whenever possible. Park further and further away each day. On weekends, opt for activities like gardening or house-cleaning which are extremely therapeutic. Try a zumba or spinning class and increase your activity levels as far as possible.
7. Accept the situation
Instead of wallowing in your pain and depression-accept people and situation for what they are. Embrace all the things you dread-be it office work or cleaning and cooking at home. The faster you accept things, the easier it will be for you to snap out of the blues.
8. Start a new hobby
A hobby will give you a purpose and there is no better or easier way than this to overcome post holiday blues. Try your hand at growing indoor flowers, learning a new language or simply take an adult education class or cooking. If you have always wanted to write or take a journalism course at the local community college-now is the time to do so.
9. Help others
All wise men say that the best way to beat blues of any kind is to help others in need. Is there an ailing, elderly neighbor who will appreciate your help? Can you volunteer at the local church? May be you could help out your local community youth by coaching them in sports or academics.
10. Follow good sleep patterns
Get to sleep on time at night to ensure getting at least 7 hours every day. Avoid napping in the afternoons if it interferes with your nighttime sleep.
11. Let it go
Avoid recurrent thoughts of how great your life was during the Holidays. Let it go! When you talk and think of it all the time, you are only increasing your anxiety unnecessarily. When the dark thoughts start, take a walk. Talk to a friend but stay upbeat and positive. Listen to some mood elevating music. Collect daily affirmations and put them up in a place where you can see them every now and then.
12. Look at the bright side
It is true that those who are always grateful have little time for the blues. So count your blessings. May be someone at work smiled at you or helped you. So say thank you like you mean it and count those little moments. A kind word, a laugh at lunch, a phone call from someone you care about-these small human connections go a long way in making the world a better place.
13. Recognize signs of blues
Sometimes, people do not even realize they are depressed. Learn to recognize little signs: eating and sleeping more, loss of energy, feelings of hopelessness or guilt etc are some common signs of blues. Once you recognize these signs, accept them. This is the first step in overcoming post holiday blues syndrome. If you feel you need help of a professional, talk to your doctor for a referral.
14. Try herbs and essential oils
Instead of using conventional anxiety medicines with side effects, go for gentle herbal medicines. St. John’s Wort, Skullcap, oats, kava kava, decaf Green tea, Chamomile, and Lavender teas are known to boost mood. You can also go for aroma-therapeutic massages with mood enhancing essential oils. Try diffusing oils like Lemon oil, Lavender or Frankincense in your room. These are known to relax and calm anxious thoughts.
15. Plan another event
Party with colleagues or friends- just call some of them over for the weekend or start looking forward to Valentine’s Day. You can even send letters or postcards with photographs of your Holiday. This will give you something to do. Include a personal message in each letter or card which people will love.
Finally: Be patient! Post holiday blues are temporary and you will get back on track soon. So, relax in the knowledge that what you are feeling is impermanent. If however, you continue feeling the blues for several weeks, seek help. There may be an underlying deficiency or a medical issue which might be causing your post holiday blues. Do not give it more importance than it has.