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Ways To Cope With The Post-Holiday Blues

Updated on December 16, 2011

Are you in a post-holiday slump?

The holidays are over. The decorations have all been boxed up and stuffed under the stairs until next year. Everyone has retreated from the tidal pool of good cheer back into the daily grind. Depending in which hemisphere you live in, the world is a tapestry of frosty breath and drab shades of gray and brown. Things suddenly seem very blah, colorless and spring seems a light year away.

Sound familiar? You're not alone. This is what's known as post-holiday depression of post-holiday blues. We have all suffered some form of it. You know, that post-holiday crash when you realize that things seem kind of empty. It's so easy over the holidays to get railroaded into the role of "pleaser." Go here, do this, plan for xyz, but in the long run so much of what we've spent the last month or two obsessing over are secondary pleasures. That's part of what leaves that hollow feeling when it's all over for another year and makes you blue.

Fear not! All it takes is a little bit of focus on what makes you happy and a bit of redirection. The following are some economical and exciting ideas on how to get yourself out of those blues and back into the swing of things with a smile on your face and a dance in your step.

So let's snap out of it and do something fun; maybe even wacky! I'm talking do something out of your normal routine. How do you do that? Here are a few suggestions:

Spend That Holiday Cash and Gift Cards

This is the most obvious. You've probably accumulated a little extra gift cash so why not take advantage of the post-holiday sales and treat yourself to that something you've been wanting. If you're like me and don't appreciate the hustle and bustle of the department stores and malls, shop online from the warmth and comfort of your own living room. I personally love the whole online shopping experience. I can browse at my leisure, no one bothers me, I don't have to deal with parking lots and long lines. I check out when I'm ready and then I get to sit back and savor each moment until my package arrives. This makes the fun last just that much longer.

I'm not saying this a long term cure for holiday depression, but shopping is a fun way to chase away a bit of the blues if you can keep it in perspective.

Do You Get the Post-Holiday Blues?

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New Releases for Move Night

Take Yourself Out on a Date

Sound a little weird? Maybe, but don't knock it until you've tried it. This is a night out with your most ardent admirer and it's all about YOU. There's no one to impress, there is no second-guessing or nervous smiles. It's just you and the things you like to do just the way you like to do them. It's the perfect way to lift the post-holiday blues. Make it real. Make it a big deal. Plan it like it's the most important date of your life. And no cheating by inviting anyone else.

Start planning the big event on Monday. In your down time, research restaurants you've never gone to. Maybe that Japanese steak house or the new sports bar you've been wanting to check out. Don't fall back on your old familiar stand-by's. Dare to step out the rut, this is a special night.

If dining out doesn't suit your budget, then plan making yourself a special meal. Do you love Indian food but never ventured to cook it for yourself? There are tons of recipes online and how-to videos. Or maybe, Mexican food? You can plan out a few recipes then make your shopping list. When you shop for your fixings, try going to a new grocery store you've never been to. Make it a special trip and not just the same old weekly grocery run.

Choose a movie you've been wanting to see but everyone else was too busy to go to with you. If you don't feel like braving the cold and are taking your meal at home, then choose a movie or sporting event you want to watch at home and maybe get a few new candles and bottle of wine or a new imported beer to enjoy with it.

Now you can spend the week planning your big date at your leisure. Every day spend a little time in planning it and you'll find those post-holiday doldrums a thing of the past.

Start A New Hobby

Now is the perfect time to start that hobby you've always wanted to try. You can invest as little or as much cash as you want into it, but go ahead and take the plunge. Not sure what you'd like to try? It's understandable. A lot of us don't even take the time consider actually starting that hobby beyond a fleeting wish. If you don't know what you'd like to try, sit down and make list. Don't hold back. Write down anything and everything, really brainstorm.

Now, take your list out every day at your leisure and begin to ponder and prioritize those items on that list. Don't cross anything out just yet. We're still pretending the sky's the limit, so put those things that really make your heart go pitter-pat at the top of the list.

Once that's been accomplished, which things are simply not within your budget? Not everyone can afford to rebuild a vintage automobile or build a greenhouse but before you chop those off your list, what about model building or window greenhouses? Examine your list carefully to see if there may be affordable substitutes that may be just as intriguing and satisfying to you. Add those in place of those unaffordables.

Now it's time to get a little more serious about your list. Read it again, top to bottom. Now choose your three top possibilities. Keep a hold of those and put your list away for another rainy day. You can always pull it back out again. Out of the three items on that list, choose one and commit to it. Congratulations! You're on your way to broadening your talents and your horizons! No more blues for you.

New Hobby Suggestions:

  • Painting
  • Writing
  • Indoor herb gardens
  • photography
  • sewing
  • model building
  • sculpting
  • quilting
  • knitting and crochet
  • learning to play an instrument
  • learning a foreign language
  • miniatures
  • flower arranging
  • scrap booking
  • amateur radio
  • backyard astronomy
  • bead work
  • jewelry making
  • home brewing
  • rock collecting
  • soap making
  • learn a new sport
  • genealogy
  • woodworking

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Rearrange Your Environment

Here's a fun and easy way to yank yourself out of the post- holiday blues and it really doesn't have to cost you anything. Rearrange your environment. We get so blah looking at the same 4 walls, the same colors, the same objects in the same places day after day. It can lull you into boredom without even realizing it's happened. You'd be surprised how changing a few things around on your work desk or in your home can liven up your outlook.

If you work at a desk or cubicle this is a great time of the year to rearrange it a little bit. Move the things around that you can. If you stare at a computer monitor all day long, try moving it to new spot on your desk. Bring a new picture for your desk. If you don't want photos of your family or pets on your desk, try printing photos of landscapes, flowers or even famous places. It's like having little windows on your desk to any world you choose.

At home, take the room you spend the most time in and change it around. You can change it a little or you can change it a lot. Our home is our den, our castle, our place to relax. Sometimes we develop subtle subconscious emotional attachments between our surroundings and our feelings. This may even make it difficult to change anything around because it's become so fixed in your mind.

Try seeing the room with the eyes you had when you first moved in and the room was empty. If you're not that visual of a person, you can also draw your room out on a piece of paper and try new ways of positioning the furniture before you start moving it around. Move one or two things or move them all.

If you budget allows, maybe try a new wall color or new curtains. Sometimes a new throw rug and a few accent pillows can change the entire feeling of the room. Maybe add a new houseplant. Nothing lifts up your mood during the drab winter months like bringing something green and living into your room. Try adding some accent mirrors to bring a little extra light and dimension in. If you choose your bedroom, try new sheets. The post holiday sales are a great time to snatch up a bargain or two!

How do you cope with your holiday blues?

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A Few More Suggestions to Chase the Post-Holiday Blues Away

Here are a few more suggestions:

  • take a weekend getaway to a nearby bed and breakfast
  • go wine tasting
  • go owl watching
  • take an adult education class of your choice
  • plan a summer garden
  • volunteer with the program of your choice
  • join a gym
  • learn yoga or tai chi
  • take your dog to agility classes
  • make a family scrap book of holiday memories

In the end, the best ways to chase away your post-holiday blues are to stay busy doing something you enjoy and make a few environmental changes to refresh your spirits. Take heart, the days will fly by and spring will be just beyond the horizon before you know it. Until then, enjoy the little changes you've made in your life!

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    • Moon Lightened profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Lightened 

      6 years ago from Delhi, India

      Thank you for reading, Michelle. I'm glad you found it practical.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great article - thanks for the practical ideas! I enjoyed the links to products illustrating your suggestions and sparking the imagination. Best of all, I like that the ideas you provided are easily attainable, can be customized to my individual interests, and seem likely to actually cheer me up. Thanks!


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