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Tips for Coping with Post Holiday Blues

Updated on February 17, 2016
Jaynie2000 profile image

With a degree in Sociology & concentrations in English & Religion, Jaynie has a keen interest in politics, social norms & mental health.

Coping with Post-Holiday Depression

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, filled with warmth, love and togetherness. Yet for many, the holiday aftermath can often be a significant let-down, much like a death. Think about it. When someone dies, loved ones gather around and offer you comfort. You reminisce, dine on delicious foods, and despite the gravity of the situation you might laugh a little, or maybe even a lot! But when family and friends retreat to their own lives and you are left without the hustle and bustle to distract you, it is easy to fall into a deep depression. The same thing often happens to people who are already prone to depression after the holidays. With the positive distractions gone, you may find yourself feeling lonely and restless. You may feel melancholy when taking down the decorative symbols of the holiday.

If you're one of the people that suffers from post-season depression, here are a few ideas for overcoming the blues...

1. Host a take-down-the-tree party. Fix a few hors d'ouerves, ask eveyone to bring a bottle of cider or wine, and have fun taking down the tree. You can reminisce about the ornaments; which ones are family heirlooms (which ones did you get as a kid, which others have significant meaning). You can take a break and have a snowball fight in the yard. Whatever you do, make it a fun excuse to extend the holidays a little longer.

2. Call a friend that you haven't seen in awhile and make a date for lunch or coffee. It will give you something fun to look forward to and perhaps you can make it a regular occurrence.

3. Do your holiday returns. It will get you out of the house and keep your mind focused. You might do them with family or friends. You'll have fun shopping for new things with the money you get back and maybe you can even splurge on a great lunch or dinner with your shopping companion.

4. Go skiing, snowboarding or tubing! It's that time of year and the fresh air, sunshine and crisp breeze will liven you up for sure. If you're a first timer, most ski slopes give lessons.

5. Look ahead to the next special event such as a holiday or birthday. You can plan a party for that event that will give you something to occupy your time and something to look forward to.

6. Take a day trip to some place you've always wanted to go. Maybe you will shop there, take photographs, visit an art gallery or museum, or buy a cup of coffee and write in your journal about the wonders of the natural world around you.

7. Try out a new recipe and have a small dinner party. Host a theme party for a small group of friends that features a variety of ethnic foods. You'll keep busy by planning your menu, shopping, cooking and cleaning up the house. These things normally sound like chores, however when you're doing it to entertain someone, it is infinitely more fun.

8. Fix breakfast for the family. Instead of sleeping in late and wasting most of the day, get up early. Fix pancakes and bacon. Brew some coffee. Your house will smell great. As the family gathers around the table together you can plan out a fun day or future fun. You can reminisce about the holidays: what did they mean to you; what was the best gift everyone got; what was the funniest thing that happened; etc.

9. Take in a matinee. The Oscars will be coming up in early 2011. See a few Oscar nominated films and make your own predictions about who will win the big prizes.

10. Help others with the post-holiday transition. Maybe your elderly neighbors need help taking down their decorations or shoveling their driveways. Maybe the local retirement home needs help to take down their decorations. Find something that helps you to feel useful and allows you to contribute positively to your community. Altruistic giving always feels good.

I hope you've had a great holiday and will have a blessed new year!


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    • Jaynie2000 profile image

      Jaynie2000 7 years ago

      Thanks so much. I hope you had a great holiday!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Really good ideas! If one does not have anything to look forward to after the holidays it can be depressing. All your suggestions here are wonderful!

    • Jaynie2000 profile image

      Jaynie2000 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for your comments. I'm glad you found it useful.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great suggestions, Jaynie2000! Depression is often triggered throughout the holidays. Circumstances that change, or difficult personnal problems, seasonal depression, big build up and the letdown that will consequently follow, and just plain old fatigue can trigger a bout of the blues. It can vary, of course, from individual to individual, and the severity of the triggering circumstances. If seriously impeding a person, no one should be hesitant to seek professional help. If your fantastic suggestions just make a sufferer feel too overwhelmed to contemplate a distraction, it may be advisable to see your physician. I was encouraged to see the successful 60-minutes reporter, Mike Wallace, share his struggle with depression and in a commercial spot, advise not to feel ashamed to seek help. Great hub, Jaynie2000, on a very important, reality in so many over-stressed lives. Thank you.