OK everybody it's finally here, the much-awaited 2021! What's in store for us this year you ask, who the heck knows. I have a crystal ball but it's in the shop for routine maintenance.
My friends will tell you that I rarely get down. Maybe twice a year I get what I call "The Blue Funk". It's very uncomfortable because like I said I'm rarely down so I'm not used to how it feels. I find though if I just allow it to be and don't resist it, that the feeling usually goes away in a few hours.
However, as many people experience several weeks of sadness or feeling let-down, this month's issue focuses on coping with post-holiday blues.
How to Cope with the Post-Holiday Blues by Jan Cerasaro
A trail of brown needles leads out to the curb where the Christmas tree, once fragrant and green, lies wilted and dying. Unplugged are the brightly colored lights and, along with the treasured decorations, are boxed up and stored away. Gone too, are family and friends even if they were only on Zoom and the memories of nights filled with holiday parties before COVID. The only thing left on many to-do lists is return gifts and clean up.
To top it off, in many parts of the country dreary, gray days lengthen into cold, dark nights. It's hard to tell which is worse the winter weather or everything we hear on the news.
No wonder so many people find themselves at a loss once the holiday season is over. The Post-Holiday Blues—feelings of sadness, of a let-down, of depression—are not at all uncommon this time of year.
As the name implies, these blues are seasonal and are likely to disappear as the routine of daily life sets in again and things get back to normal (whatever that may look like this week). But the symptoms are real and can make a return to that ordinary rhythm hard to come by.
Symptoms of the Post-Holiday Blues can include feelings of fatigue or lethargy, an increased need for sleep, a lack of interest in activities, and a sense of loss or sadness. To help get through this time, here are some things you can do:
- Extend the time of giving by continuing to be generous. With so many new toys, children can clean out their toy boxes and closets and give to a charity or church those which they no longer use or want. Adults can do the same with clothes, household items, or their own “toys.”
- Send a note by snail mail to tell someone you are thinking about them. They will love it and it will make you feel good too!
- Instead of staying in your sweats all day if you are working from home, shower, apply your makeup (if you're a lady), and put on the clothes you would wear for a casual business meeting. Just this simple act of dressing up can lift your mood.
- When the weather permits, take walks outside. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, exercise inside. Put on some music and dance even if you are by yourself.
- Everyday schedule something fun or relaxing for yourself. Even if it’s only a hot bath or a half-hour with a favorite book.
- Bring beauty into your home and your life. Taking down the holiday decorations can make a place feel dull and empty. Fill it up again with candles, flowers, or a child's art projects.
- Plan a future trip or a project. Working on something and making plans gives you something to look forward to.
- Volunteer for activities through one of your favorite organizations. Even during COVID the charities need volunteers.
- Pull out your phone and call someone you haven't talked to for a while.
- Recognize that this time and these feelings too shall pass, as the night to day and winter to spring.
However, feelings beyond “the blues” or feelings that are more debilitating, or that extend much beyond the post-holidays, may signal depression. Seek help when you need it. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications
There is a great book by Marci Shimoff called Happy For No Reason (7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out). It is filled with many interesting stories and exercises to help your regain your happiness You can pick this up at any bookstore or listen to it on Audible.
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Stay safe, healthy and happy!