Fighting the Post-Holiday Blues
The holidays are a joyous and celebratory time of the year, with lots of cheer, family fun, and plenty of activity to keep busy. But for many people, the end of the holidays can be a dark, lonely and depressing time. As many as 64% of people have reported feeling what can be described as the post-holiday blues. Oftentimes, the exhilarating feeling of stress, thrill, and excitement from the holidays can translate to a period of feeling sad, tired, and depressed once that excitement is no longer present.
While depression is a serious mood disorder, and seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that affects people during the winter months, both are diagnosable medical conditions. Being afflicted with either of these conditions will require diagnosis and treatment by a health care professional. Post-holiday blues, on the other hand, are a temporary feeling and should be easy enough to beat on your own. Here are some simple tips to make the process more pleasant as we transition out of the holidays.
- Don’t forget your routine: Routines are an important tool in keeping your mental health in check year round, and especially during periods of feeling blue or depressed. Oftentimes when suffering from the sadness and tiredness of depression it becomes easy to neglect minor things, which can further become a source of stress as we feel guilty for neglecting them. Try making a checklist of your daily routine and keep it posted somewhere visible, like on the fridge or your bedroom mirror.
- Dial in your rest: While not sleeping enough is bad for your mental health, so too is oversleeping. It’s all about maintaining the balance that all things require. While many people will tell you older people need less sleep than younger people, the truth is that as we age, we’ll always require seven to eight hours of sleep a night to be properly rested and recharged. In cold, dark, winter months, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation of going to bed early when the sun goes down and staying in bed while it’s still very cold and dark as the sun rises late. But consistency is key. Setting a bedtime and a waking time eight hours apart, and sticking with it, will help you settle into a routine of getting the proper rest you need.
- Eat well: Good food doesn’t only nourish our bodies, it can also help change and regulate our moods. Starting your day off the right way, with a healthy, nutritious breakfast can set the tone for the day right away, helping you feel great and putting a spring in your step. Whole grain cereals or breads, low-fat dairy, lean protein like eggs, and healthy sources of fat like avocado will help keep you fuller longer, as well as provide you with critical nutrition like vitamin D and calcium, helping shore up the strength of your bones.
- Get outside: