Tips for overcoming post-holiday blues 

The holiday season is filled with life’s biggest highs and lows as you balance family schedules, run back and forth in the kitchen, and push your social skills to the absolute limit. The “most wonderful time of the year” can quickly sweep you up in a whirlwind of presents and parties and leave you dealing with the aftermath long after the festivities end.

Post-holiday blues are real—it’s perfectly natural to feel emptiness, sadness, and anxiety as you transition back to your regular routine after all the holiday chaos. Here are our top five tips for handling the post-holiday blues and finding your January groove.

Post-holiday blues are a real thing—it’s perfectly natural to feel emptiness, sadness, and anxiety as you transition back to your normal routine after all the holiday chaos.

1. Be patient with yourself

Guilt-free rest and relaxation are the keys to recharging after the holiday drain. Find time in your schedule to slow down, catch your breath, and calm your mind, even if it's just a few minutes here and there. Permit yourself to transition back to your regular routine. It’s okay if your Christmas decorations stay up a little longer this year.

2. Prioritize gratitude

November shouldn’t have a monopoly on thankfulness! As you push through the post-holiday blues, try to spend a few minutes each day appreciating your favorite parts of life. When you feel thankful, you’re likely to be in a better mood, get better sleep, and even feel healthier. Plus, a daily gratitude practice actively trains your brain to find the good in any situation (even a dreary January afternoon).

3. Exercise outdoors

Adding regular physical activity to your schedule can help you shake off the post-holiday funk. So can spending time outdoors. For best results, combine the two! (We’re all about working smarter, not harder.) Outdoor workouts can help you feel more revitalized, energized, and engaged than indoor workouts—and they’re more fun, too!

4. Volunteer

Helping others can help you find purpose and meaning when you're in the depths of a post-holiday-crash. Donating time or money to your favorite cause releases “feel good” chemicals (serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin) in your brain, lowers stress and blood pressure, and may even increase your lifespan. So, pick your favorite cause and get to work!

5. Talk it out

If you’re dealing with post-holiday depression or anxiety, find someone to talk to about what you’re going through. Meaningful human connection can help, whether you just want to hear your thoughts out loud or you need a little extra help from a mental health professional. So, reach out to a trusted friend, partner, or therapist (or all three). You don’t have to go through this alone. 

This January, try cutting yourself some slack as your body and bank account recover from the indulgence of holiday festivities. Give yourself room to work through your post-holiday blues, and make time for activities that bring joy and light to your life. Remember all the kindness and good cheer you spread to others this holiday season? Well, now it’s time to focus that love and generosity on someone else—you! 

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Please note: and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances. 

January 17, 2023 — Stephanie McClintock