How to sooth the post-holiday blues

Ruth Griffiths

Christmas has passed, the guests are gone, the wrapping paper is in the trash and you feel… blah! With all the buildup to the holidays, why do we feel blue when they are over?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness describes the holiday blues as feelings of anxiety and stress that come up around the holidays and may be due to unrealistic expectations or memories connected to the holiday season.

Gina Moffa, a New York psychotherapist,  says post-holiday blues are temporary.

“This can be akin to feeling sad, anxious, or depressed with the characteristics of seasonal affective disorder… Your sleep may be affected, energy levels, and even your ability to concentrate.”

Post-holiday blues can be caused by a variety of things including alcohol consumption, overeating, too many activities disrupting routines, lack of sleep, financial strain. Sadness at this time of year may be caused by grief over death of a loved one or loss of a relationship, loneliness or illnesses.

Taking care of yourself can help you cope with holidays blues:

  • drink enough water
  • move your body
  • get enough sleep
  • create or maintain strong boundaries as needed
  • connect with nourishing people around you
  • embracing moments of solitude and quiet
  • stick to a routine

The dark cold days of January seem to stretch out bleakly forever. But by taking care of yourself, as you would take care of others, you can learn to live with the letdown after the holidays.

Each days brings new opportunities. My wish for you is that this coming year will be your best yet.