It should not come as a big surprise that countless individuals get anxious and oftentimes downright depressed during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
From buying gifts for loved ones to hosting holiday events, the time of the year when many people are celebrating can turn into instant misery for many others. In more extreme cases, some of those individuals end up turning to alcohol or medications as a means to fight their states of depression.
With that in mind, one might think that once the holidays are over anyone and everyone who had the holiday blues is right back to their good old selves again. As it turns out, that is oftentimes far from the case.
For many people, it is the holidays which distract them from down times during the year, giving them a few weeks of enjoyment before they return to their real world. Even though those holiday visits to family can seem a little too much at times, it is exactly those events that provide a distraction at least in the short term.
Flash forward; returning to that “real world” usually comes after the last holiday parties are held, people return to their everyday jobs, and parents with kids in school say goodbye to their loved ones each day or sometimes for weeks and months at a time (college).
So, what are some helpful hints for those who find that after the holidays are actually worse than what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year?
Lean on Family and Friends
For starters, turn to your family and friends for support. Both of these groups should be the anchors that help you maintain a relatively normal life, so use them.
When it comes to family, they should be your rock for support. As we all know too well, however, there are many families that are torn apart or just don’t have that connection despite being together. If your family is not there to help you, look to see if a good friend or friends will lend a helping hand.
Such help could simply come in the form of rides to medical appointments, helping out with needs at home, or even just being a good listener.
Whichever option you choose to strive for; note that your overall health should always be your top concern. When someone is going through a rough time and is feeling down emotionally, the physical stress can oftentimes outweigh the mental anguish, leading to high blood pressure, weight gain, ulcers, insomnia and much more.
Keep as Busy as Possible
Another key to beating the post-holiday blues is making sure your schedule is full enough. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be on-the-go 24/7, but you should try and fill as much open time as possible, especially if you’re not working full-time.
One of the advantages of having a busy schedule is that it keeps your mind occupied, preventing you from having too much time to think about one or more problems that may be bothering you.
In order to fill some of the free time you may have, think about such things as:
Turning to a new hobby or getting yourself back into one that you may have put on hold for the time being;
Being active in social groups at your church, the neighborhood you live in, your children’s school;
Taking part in group settings that revolve around improving one’s health. For example, if you are suffering from depression or have recently gone through a divorce or loss of a loved one, the toll on your physical health oftentimes does more harm than the mental aspect. In turn, look to go to meetings that have other individuals dealing with similar problems in your presence. The learning and sharing of ideas can be a big benefit to your overall psyche.
Weather Plays a Role Too
Lastly, where you reside can have a major impact on your overall physical and mental well-being. For those individuals living back East or in the Midwest, dealing with post-holiday blues can be even more bothersome when you have to battle winter weather. Colder days, shorter periods of sunshine, and leftover snow can make those days you’re battling the January and February down-in-the-dumps days rough.
Given individuals are more prone to getting physically sick in the winter months with more people indoors and germs flying around, make sure you keep a positive attitude (helps reduce your stress level and maintains a balanced immune system), allowing you to be in good health when the nicer days arrive in the spring.
While many people dread the holiday season, many others don’t enjoy what comes after it.
Find the right balance for your physical and mental well-being, allowing you to get rolling towards a great 2016.