The holidays are a joyous time, full of family and friends celebrating the year that has passed. But after all this excitement and celebration, many people find themselves feeling low. This is often referred to as the post-holiday blues. The symptoms can vary from person to person but most commonly include sadness or depression, anxiety or irritability, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight gain, social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities they would normally enjoy.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what causes these feelings and how you can cope with them when they happen!
The contrast effect is a basic psychological issue that causes the brain to have to adapt to drastically different experiences. The reduced expectations of the post-holiday months giving way to the less interesting subsequent weeks are a well-known contrast effect. It makes us believe that the following few weeks will be much more gloomy and uninteresting than they really are. The exaggeration effect is similar to contrast and often works hand in hand with it. It can cause us to overreact based on our first experiences of the post-holiday blues. This makes us feel as if we’re not going to be able to cope, but as time passes we realize we do not have a problem at all!
The social disconnection that often results from the post-holiday blues only serves to exaggerate these feelings. With all of your friends and family gone, it can feel as if you’re left with no one around for support! Feeling lonely is a common symptom that accompanies depression and anxiety after holidays, but there are ways we can combat this feeling through social interaction.
Packing the future full of exciting activities and new goals can help with post-holiday blues. Adjusting expectations is an important part of overcoming sadness, but it’s also a physical management issue. This psychological defense may be an attempt to fight back against the contrast effect by filling your life with fascinating things and new objectives for the future.
Was there something you wanted to do, but never found the time for? Now is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or take on a goal. You’ll have fewer distractions and more energy to dedicate your focus to it!
Instead of dwelling on past holiday experiences, look forward to your bright future. Writing out a schedule for the next few weeks, with specific goals or tasks that need to be done can help you regain control of your life. It’s a way to combat the contrast effect by giving yourself concrete tasks and objectives, rather than drifting aimlessly around. Doing this will not only give you a sense of purpose and responsibility but it will also allow you to enjoy yourself more as time goes on!
And if you have set your New Year Resolutions already, now would be a good time to start working on your goals. And if you haven’t yet – it’s not too late to set them now. This is a great opportunity to focus on what you want and how things can be in the future.
There are various activities you can engage in to help you cope with the post-holiday blues. These include spending time in nature, watching your favorite movie or engaging in an activity that was fun for you but put on hold during the holidays!
Did you put something off that you’ve been meaning to do? For instance, was there a show or a movie you wanted to watch but never found the time for it? Now is your chance! You have no excuses now that the holidays are over.
Do you have a friend you haven’t seen for a while? Reach out to them and see if they’re up for catching up! If you can’t meet them in person and are not a fan of phone calls, try an online messaging app like WhatsApp.
Was there a video game you always wanted to play or a book you wanted to read or listen to? Now is the time! There’s no better way to spend some post-holiday blues than reading an exciting book or playing an engaging game.
How about cooking a healthy meal? It will not only satisfy your hunger, make you feel like you have accomplished something, but it will keep you active and busy as well. Healthy cooking is a great way to start a new year and it will also help balance your mood.
And don’t underestimate the importance of exercising when you feel low. Not only does it release endorphins that can lift your mood, but also gives you the energy to do the things that make you happy! Find something you enjoy doing and it will be even more beneficial.
Do you want to try a new hobby? The beginning of the year is the perfect time for discovering something new and interesting! You may find yourself deeply involved in this activity and discover a new hobby you’ll enjoy for years to come!
Did you want to learn a new skill? Your opportunity has arrived. Pick up that book or introductory course and start learning something new. This will not only keep boredom away but also help boost self-esteem by seeing yourself learn a new skill!
These are just a few examples of the things you can do with your time, now that the holidays have ended. The world is waiting for you, so make sure to put yourself out there and discover no matter how small it may be!
And if you need assistance with combatting post-holiday blues, feel free to reach out. I am here to help! Click the link below to schedule your Complimentary call today!