The gifts are all opened, and the cookies and sweets all eaten, and what do you have to show for it? Now that the holidays are over, do you feel a bit deflated? You may be suffering from post-holiday depression.
Are you one who puts all your decorations away nice and neatly as soon as the holidays are over, or are they perhaps sitting in a heap, casting guilty glances in your direction every time you walk by?
Have the holidays left you with that unwanted gift of a few extra pounds, or did you manage to reign in your enthusiasm for the tastes and treats during the holiday festivities? Those would be the same tastes and treats that foster the most popular new year’s resolutions to lose the holiday weight that settled in for a long winter’s nap but forgot to leave.
The bills will start coming in soon, but for many the bills aren’t the only remnant left over after the holidays have passed. Many are left with post-holiday depression, while their friends and neighbors have welcomed in the New Year with fun and frolic.
Are you having a hard time resuming your normal daily activities?
Has your energy been transplanted by the winter sluggishness?
Does it seem no matter how hard you try, you just can’t find your joy in the aftermath of the holidays?
You are not alone. I’ve been there. So have tens of thousands of other Americans.
I’d encourage you to be gentle on yourself. This isn’t something you asked for. And it didn’t come on overnight, so you can’t expect it’ll go away overnight either. But I can tell you that when you beat yourself up for having depression or the blues, you’ll just make yourself feel worse.
To help combat post-holiday depression, plan one thing each day that you enjoy.
I say “plan” for a couple of reasons: we are more likely to follow through on those things we actually plan and schedule in our busy lives, and this is a time to make yourself and your emotional well-being a priority.
25 Simple Things to Look Forward To that Help with Post-Holiday Depression:
- Meet a friend for coffee
- Buy your favorite fruit at the grocery store
- Listen to uplifting music
- Spend time journaling
- Get outside and take a walk
- Meditate on God’s word
- Go for a bike ride
- Go to the park
- Take a bubble bath
- Read a new book
- Browse at the library
- Stretch your muscles
- Do a crossword puzzle
- Work on a hobby like scrapbooking or painting
- Do something nice for someone
- Spend time with a friend or loved one
- Try out that new restaurant in the neighborhood
- Cook your favorite meal
- Invite your friends for dinner or a game night
- Take a dance or exercise class
- Get a massage
- Smell the flowers
- Reflect on the good things in your life
- Spend time with a friend
- Send a written note of encouragement to someone
What you plan for each day doesn’t have to be a major event. The key is that you have something enjoyable each day to look forward to!
What is your favorite way to uplift your spirits? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Resources for the post-holiday blues:
If you, a loved one or a friend are struggling with the blues, the 10 tips in this free resource are practical and full of encouragement to help you take action and beat the blues.
Find out more here: 10 Tips to Beat the Blues
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.
“There are many fine, worthy, and insightful books written about depression but in my view, Dr. Bengtson’s trumps them all. Our first step of making it to the other side of the valley of depression may well be falling into the competent and compassionately written words of this God-honoring book: Hope Prevails.” ~ Marilyn Meberg, Speaker, Women of Faith