Coping with the post-Christmas blues

By now you’ll know that I LOVE Christmas! So when the festive excitement is over, life can feel a bit flat.

We’ve had months of build-up, preparation, planning, shopping and celebrating – and suddenly, before we know it, it’s all over.

We go from being allowed to sit on the sofa, watch films all day and stuff our faces with cheese and chocolate, to feeling pressured to return to the (home) gym and count every calorie.

Plus it’s dark, cold and rainy outside, we’re broke after the festive blow out – and, for many, it’s time to go back to work.

So it’s not surprising loads of us feel fed up post-Christmas.

If this is how you feel, it’s even more important than usual to look after yourself and ensure you have something to look forward to, even if it’s just little things.

As I know I’m one of the many people who can be a bit down in the dumps in January, I plan ahead to help myself through – it’s become part of my Christmas organisation routine!

Thankfully there are many ways to help banish the post-Christmas blues – here are some of my favourites:

Give yourself time to rest

Christmas can be incredibly tiring, especially if you were responsible for hosting. 

It’s hard for most of us to find time to recover properly, but try to give yourself at least a few hours when you can catch up on your sleep and relax. 

It will make a massive difference to how you’re feeling.

Plan something to look forward to

Going back to ‘normal’ life and routine after the excitement of Christmas can feel like a let down, so get some things in the diary so you have something to really look forward to.

Nights out and weekends away aren’t possible right now, but you could arrange something for later in the year when, hopefully, it will be safe to travel and meet up with friends.

The planning and anticipation will help you get back to your usual cheery self.

For now, arranging a Zoom chat with a much-loved friend you haven’t seen for ages, planning a takeaway and film night, or booking an online cookery class could lift your spirits just when you need it.

Be kind to yourself

Pledge to do something nice for just for you at least once a day. Listen to an upbeat song you love and give it your full attention – or dance to it around your living room. 

Take the time for a luxurious soak in the bath rather than your usual quick shower. Spend an hour painting your nails or applying a face mask. 

Whatever the small but positive things are that cheer you up, make sure you allow yourself the time to do them. It’ll make you feel so much better.

 

Get active

Even during lockdown we’re allowed to leave home for exercise once a day, so get out for a walk (or a jog if you’re so inclined) in the fresh air. 

If the weather isn’t the best, getting outside will still boost your endorphin levels and your mood. 

So if you don’t feel like going, go anyway and you’ll feel better for it.

Make positive changes

If an element of ‘normal’ life fills you with dread then you should consider why this is the case and if there are changes you need to make.

For example, if the thought of returning to work fills you with absolute dread (rather than temporarily fed up), perhaps it’s time to think about changing your job.

Identify what’s causing the problem and come up with small steps to help you fix it.

You’ll feel so much better just by knowing you’re doing something proactive.

Have a giggle

Laughing can really help cheer you up – call a friend you know will make you giggle, watch a comedy film or read a funny book and leave the real world behind for a few hours.

 

Think of others

Take the attention away from yourself and focus on others. Do you have a friend who could do with a sympathetic ear, or does anyone in your road need help with food shopping during lockdown?

You’ll help someone else and knowing you’ve done so will put things into perspective and make you feel good about yourself.

Sort out your finances

January is the time when credit card bills hit the mat and we have to face the reality of how much we spent on Christmas. 

Instead of hiding your head in the sand, sort out your money problems and set a budget for the coming months so you’re not facing the same situation this time next year.

Let’s get through the post-Christmas blues together. They’re like anything else – temporary.

However, if your low mood is more long term or you feel you’re struggling, talk to your GP and/or contact a charity like Mind for expert advice and support.

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