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January 3, 2015

How to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues.

christmas wrapping mess

I get the Post Holiday Blues every year, usually starting somewhere between December 26th and January 2nd.

It usually begins when the last Christmas cookie has been eaten and comes on strong once the tree is out the door and I find myself grumbling about all the pine needles on the floor.

Symptoms include a pervasive sense of existential dread, cravings for more cookies, persistent ennui and a lack of desire to do much of anything besides sit in bed. No, I don’t have the flu.

This is a serious case of the Post-Holiday Blues.

The parties are over, there’s no reason for sequins, the trash overflows with bows. The decorations are down and the anticipation is done. So what do we do now? It can be pretty depressing, but luckily there are many cures for the Post-Holiday Blues.

Here’s how I cope:

Clean! Purge! Donate! Scrub!

The holidays can often leave us feeling overwhelmed, especially materially, so I always spend New Year’s Day doing a deep clean. Fresh, uncluttered living spaces bring a sense of calm, peace and well-being and help us to think and create more clearly.

Use gift cards immediately.

Go ahead. Have a field day. Don’t let them sit around in some drawer forgotten. Order some new books, go out to eat, get a new sweater or take the free yoga classes. Have fun! That’s what gift cards are for yet approximately 40% of gift cards go unused. What a waste.

Start a new project.

This should be something really enjoyable, not a tedious slog like replacing the gutters (unless of course you enjoy replacing gutters).

Plan a vacation.

Even if it isn’t affordable right now, the act of researching, planning and organizing a future vacation is a pleasant, positive activity that will put us in the mindset of having something positive to look forward to again. For those with seasonal affective disorder, planning and going on a vacation to a warm, sunny location can be especially curative.

Give the body a much-deserved rest.

After the parties, indulgences and fast pace of the holiday season, our bodies are overloaded and need some extra care. Get a massage, juice, eat clean, take long walks, hot baths and cozy naps.

Some people dread the month of January because for many it represents resolutions that are difficult and reflect a real sense of self-loathing (lose weight, stop doing this, stop doing that, this is the year I’m finally going to do X,Y,Z). Beating ourselves up isn’t going to accomplish anything.

Greet the New Year with self-acceptance and resolve to offer your present self with all of its flaws the gift of more compassion.

If all else fails, remember that Valentine’s Day is less than six weeks away!


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Author: Victoria Fedden

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: courtesy of author, flickr

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