Now that the holiday season is over and the presents are unwrapped, family has returned home and the sweets have been gobbled up, it is time to return to the normalcy of the day to day.

Many people struggle to participate or even meet the expectations of holiday events, while others deal with feelings of guilt for indulging in excess. It is not uncommon to feel emotionally and psychologically drained by the holiday expectations surrounding family gatherings, friendly get-togethers and work functions. For others, the end of the holidays may symbolize a return to solitude or sadness. Indeed, depression following the holidays has become so common that it has been coined as “post-holiday blues”.

We would like to give you some tips to help alleviate the blue feelings and get yourself where you want to be.

  • Anticipate Some Let Down.

    The holiday season was probably a busy time that had the calendar loaded up with family, friends and other social expectations. Possibly there was time away from work, where your schedule was freed up to do things that you loved. Now routine is back, family and friends have returned to their schedule and kids are back to school. It is okay to feel glum, but it is important not to let these feelings take over, try to…

  • Generate Actions.

    Call that friend you did not (or even did) see over the holidays and meet for lunch. Take a furry friend for an evening winter walk, nightly. Book a weekend winter getaway with a partner or friend. Start training for a spring half marathon. Plan for tomorrow to make it easier to leave the holidays behind.

  • Eat, Sleep, Exercise.

    The holidays may have been filled with indulgence but now it is time to get back on track. Make good food choices that are nutritious and promote health (make treats the exception not the rule). Exercise is an important part of a healthy living, put one foot in front of the other, even if it is just for 30 minutes a day. Get good sleep. Develop a routine at least an hour before bed time that helps you to relax, not wind up.

  • Get Out and About.

    It can feel comfortable and become easy to stay in and hibernate during the winter months; however it is important to leave the den and find ways to socialize and stay connected to the people around you. The holidays are not the only time to for togetherness, make an effort to see friends and family.

  • Ask for Help.

    If it feels like the holidays and the weeks following have consumed your thoughts and led to depressed or anxious feelings, it is okay and important to ask for help. Make sure to tell someone how you are feeling, whether it is a parent, partner, friend or your doctor; be clear about the extent of your blues. Post-holiday blues are a real thing and not something that you have to tough through or experience alone.

Written by Bliss Specialist Melissa Reid MSW RSW