Written by Lori Covey
Now that the holidays are over and we are back to reality, it’s easy to feel empty. I am here to tell you that you’re not the only one who suffers from “post-holiday sadness.” For me, the holidays have always been hard. Being back with family, surrounded by food, constantly spending money and feeling the pressure of the new year… It’s a lot and it can be very difficult to come out of.
These are a few things I do after every holiday season to revamp myself and pull my head out of the hangover that is the holiday blues.
1. Detox. Figuratively and literally. I always start the new year with a juice cleanse. I think it’s important to detox your body from holiday foods. Once your body is fully cleansed from all the junk you’ve eaten for a month, you’ll feel healthier, lighter, more energized and overall happier. Not only do I detox my body, I also detox my social life. Take time to think of the toxic things in your life, and detox them as well. Whether it be a boyfriend, friend, a horrible habit or a suffocating idea, get rid of it. Physical and mental detoxing can be very helpful in pulling yourself out of a post-holiday rut.
2. Exercise. Whether it's walking, meditative yoga, vigorous weight lifting, or simple cardio— get moving and get active. Exercising is important for coming out of the holiday blues for more reasons than one. Not only is it good to get up and moving after lounging about throughout Christmas and Thanksgiving, but it also makes you mentally happier. Exercising releases endorphins to your brain that make you happier and less stressed.
3. Get into a consistent routine. For me, consistency is key. It’s easy for me to feel out of control and upset when I have no schedule or pattern to follow. Most teens are home from school for the holidays and their routines are drastically changed up. This shift can be hard when the holidays are over, which is why it’s important to get back into a routine. Even if it’s something as small as eating breakfast, promise yourself one piece of consistency a day. Getting back into a consistent routine can really help keep your mental state stable. It gives a sense of control and brings you back into reality after a full month of holiday madness.
4. Stop all the expectations. Coming into the new year and out of the holiday season can fill your head (at least for me) with lots of false expectations. Expectations that the new year will be this or that, expectations from friends or loved ones and unrealistic expectations from yourself. Expectations single-handedly kill gratitude. The more you expect from the future, the less you appreciate in the present. It’s easiest to come out of the holiday dumps if you don’t bring them with you. You can’t come into the new year with expectations if you’re wanting to truly be happy. Take time to be grateful and content with what’s already happening. You will be much happier finding a dollar one the ground if you did not expect to find $100.
5. Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the ways you faulted this holiday season. Leave it all in the past. Whatever you did or didn’t do, forgive yourself and move on from the holidays. Something that always keeps me in my holiday blues is my unwillingness to forgive myself for all I ate. Maybe you aren’t upset over what you ate, maybe you're upset because you didn’t give the perfect gift, maybe you fought with your parents too much or maybe you let the season pass without being present. Whatever it is that you’re holding on to, let it go. We are humans and we need to forgive ourselves.
Sometimes coming back to real life after the holidays truly can feel like a big hangover. The feeling that one chapter has ended and the next one is to be determined. Well, you must be determined to beat the holiday blues. These are just a few things I do to help myself acclimate after the season has ended and the new year has begun.