Overcoming Post-Holiday Depression

What is Post-Holiday Depression?

The holidays have come and gone and a new year has begun. While many people greet the new year with excitement, others find themselves suffering from the post-holiday blues. This is understandable, as the holiday season is a time of family gatherings, festive parties, and celebrations, which all come to an abrupt halt once the calendar turns to the new year. This can lead to fatigue, returning to work after taking time off, taking down holiday decorations, and stress from paying for gifts. Additionally, the long, cold, dark days of winter can lead some people to experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Symptoms of Post-Holiday Depression

The symptoms of post-holiday depression are similar to those of “regular” depression, including headaches, insomnia, anxiety, weight gain or loss, and agitation. While depression related to the holidays is often short-lived, lasting just a few weeks into the new year, it can be long-lasting and overwhelming for some people. In these cases, counseling and support groups can be helpful.

Tips for Getting Over Depression after the Holidays

To avoid or overcome post-holiday depression, it can be helpful to take a proactive approach to the new year. Some tips include reflecting on the good times from the holiday season, getting some rest, starting a hobby or picking up an old one, planning your next vacation or long weekend, volunteering, trying phototherapy for seasonal affective disorder, setting realistic New Year’s resolutions, and expecting to enjoy the year ahead.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’ve tried some of these tips and are still having a hard time overcoming post-holiday depression, it may be helpful to speak with a mental health professional. They can provide additional support and guidance to help you get through this difficult time. Don’t be afraid to seek help – it’s a brave and important step towards improving your mental health and well-being. If you’d like to try something a little more direct and personalized, I offer Self-Actualization Consulting through my website.