The post holiday blues usually show up around January 2. When the reality of everyday life creeps through your holiday denial with the subtlety of a meteor crashing through your ceiling.
After the joy and revelry of the end-of-year holiday season, our problems are no longer on the back burner. The magic is gone and suddenly there are bills to be paid, work to return to, kids to get ready for school, household chores, and other nagging issues.
Your post holiday blues may show up like this:
If you're experiencing any of these, I have some good news, some bad news and some ideas for you.
The good news is that post holiday blues are completely normal as long as they don't persist too long, get you down too much, or interfere with your day-to-day functioning.
People experiencing the blues as described above can usually keep things going so their responsibilities and other obligations are met, despite feeling out of sorts or sad. If you find yourself paralyzed to do the next right thing (like taking a shower and going to work) or overcome with emotion to the point you can't quite see the way out, you may be experiencing something more clinical in scope.
If you feel this way for very long (2 weeks or more), I would encourage you to speak with your primary care physician or a therapist for some direction. But take action sooner rather than later. The longer it lasts, the more difficult it may be to treat.
Those bills are real. You may have gotten caught up in the season and overspent. It may require sacrifices and persistence to dig out of the hole, but you are resourceful and will come out the other side of the debt a better and wiser person.
If you were working before the holidays, I am pretty sure you have to return to work. This requires determination and action. Taking a shower is a good first step toward getting to work, but there are many more steps before you get inside your workplace. Put one foot in front of the other and do it. Ultimately, you will be glad you did.
Your home or apartment may be a wreck after the holidays, and the decorations may still be up. Focus on getting your environment back to pre-holiday status. This will help re-establish your regular routine and the post holiday blues will likely pass within a few days.
Feeling down after the new year is not uncommon, and you are not alone.
But while it is usually not serious, post holiday sadness can become post holiday depression if it lasts longer than a few weeks or is debilitating. Pay attention to the signs and take my suggested action steps so you can start feeling like yourself again.
Here is one last tip: Bookmark this page and schedule on your calendar to read it again around October 15th every year. You just might find it helps prepare you to minimize seasonal denial and reduce the post holiday blues year after year.
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