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After spending a wonderful holiday over the New Year period, some people feel blue and find that it's difficult to function normally in their daily rhythm. As defined by the DSM IV, holiday blues, holiday depression, or post-New Year blues, these commonly used terms depict the mental distress occurring after the winter holidays and festival season.
Below are some suggested steps to get rid of your post winter festive season holiday blues.
1. Expect some letdown. The holiday season is both joyful and stressful at once. There is family to get along with, gifts to buy and return, people to visit, activities to throw yourself into, plenty of festive food to eat, sales to rush to, and parties to plan and attend. Topped off with the excitement of New Year's Eve, your adrenaline has probably been pumping a lot of the time during the New Year's period. Returning to the usual routine and probably quieter workplace than normal can dampen your spirits just by the absence of exciting things to do and look forward to. Expecting to feel a little low is a way of telling yourself that this is a normal feeling and that it will soon pass once the routine re-establishes itself.
2. Choose to see the benefits of post-holiday time. The good side to the end of the holidays is that you've had a chance to rest, to relax, and to enjoy yourself. The craziness prior to New Year has ended both at the workplace and in the home, and the restful time after New Year has hopefully given you the opportunity to do things that are different from your usual routine. And any break in the routine is good for the spirit, providing you with the chance to rejuvenate.
3. Be gentle on yourself with respect to your New Year's Resolutions. Ensure that any goals you've set are reasonable and most importantly achievable. Taking weight loss as an example, targeting for a size zero is unrealistic, but looking for 1 pound loss in a span of week seems to be more achievable.
4. Keep being around people. Some of the post-holiday season blues might be related to having been around many people over the New Year break and then suddenly finding yourself surrounded by people you don't know that well, or even not by many people at all. Lift your spirits by continuing to stay connected with friends and family, and getting out and about to do activities where other people interact with you.
5. Do things that give you cause to look forward to something. Revive the excitement of anticipation by arranging fun things, such as having dinner with friends, starting a new class for a hobby or interest, attending a sporting event regularly, going to the movies, etc. Choose activities that meet your budget and interests, and that you know will give you a thrill.
6. Make healthy choices. After the many indulgences over the holiday period, it can leave you feeling a little out of shape and worse for wear in the nutrition department. Aim to return to eating healthy food, drinking healthy drinks, and ensuring that you keep getting a good amount of exercise. Eating well and keeping up regular exercise will enhance your mood and help you return to good shape and fitness levels.
7. Make this a time for getting professional help and turning around things that have been bothering you. The holiday season tends to put a hold on pressing issues at work and in your personal life because the celebrations, meet-ups, and preparations require your foremost attention. Once this busyness dies down, you're returned to thinking about your general life issues and this might just be a good time to get help from the professionals, be it for anything from sorting out your finances, redecorating your home, or dealing with the unhappy feelings you're experiencing.
8. Expect to enjoy the year ahead. Trying to keep a positive frame of mind and planning for interesting and fulfilling events throughout the year is a good way to calm your current blues. Think ahead to the changing seasons and the sorts of things you'd like to be doing as the year moves on, and the sorts of activities and events you'd like to be a part of. Doing something about the things you'd like to happen is the first step and once you're immersed in planning and doing, you'll be too busy to fret.