After all of the fun and excitement of the holidays are behind us, how can we avoid the let down that comes so quickly into the new year?
Personally, I was feeling depressed one measley day after Christmas! After a month of adventurous shopping to find just the right gifts to thrill of getting our first ever REAL Christmas tree, the holiday season seems like it is going to be hard for me to let go of this year. It feels as if letting go of the season itself means letting go of the joy of the season as well.
I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a mental illness where one’s mood state significantly changes from season to season. In the winter months, my mood has a tendency towards depression. There are ways, however, I can fight the depression that comes from both post holiday blues and SAD.
One thing I can do is keep some of my seasonal decorations up well into the cold months of February. Maybe not Santa and his reindeer, but snowmen and snowflakes make for fun winter decor.
In an effort to extend the social benefits of holiday parties, I could make it a point to host small get-togethers once a month in January and February. I must remember that social isolation can increase my depression.
I could send out Valentine’s and give small Valentine’s Day gifts (to select individuals), like I did with Christmas cards and gifts, to stay in a holiday-type spirit throughout winter.
Many people, myself included, tend to go to church only on special occasions like Christmas. Continuing to attend service every Sunday can keep that feeling of spirituality and connectedness to something greater than myself alive. I plan to do this; I’ve already declared it as a new year resolution.
Some people volunteer or donate money or gifts around the holidays. We all know the recipients of our time, talents and treasures need them year-round, so why not continue giving well past the holiday season? It will be good for them and us, too!
Finally, and specifically for those with SAD, light therapy can help chase depression away. I have used this in the past and it has been very beneficial for me. Be sure to talk with your doctor before trying this, however, especially if you have bipolar, because it can trigger mania or mixed states if used improperly.
What are some other things you do or you can come up with to do to avoid those post holiday and winter blues?