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Things can be tough after the holidays are over. We can feel lost, wandering around in the post-festive limbo.
Things can be tough after the holidays are over. January is known for being one of the darkest and depressing months of the year, and 2021 is proving to be no different. With all the horrible news going on in the world, it would be so easy to shut off the internet, close the curtains and hibernate until it’s all over. Not only that but, if you’re anything like me, you’re still wandering around in a post-festive limbo. Add the ever-changing rules of lockdown and suddenly your brand new diary has several scribbled-out plans already.
What day is it? I don't know. Are the shop hours normal again? Your guess is as good as mine. Do we still have turkey in the freezer for sandwiches? Almost certainly.
This year more than ever before will be a very confusing and long wait until Spring.
Although difficult for many there are a variety of things you can do to safeguard yourself against overwhelming despair. While we can’t promise that you’ll be entirely free from ‘the blues‘, we can ensure that these tips should help soften the blow. Even just a little bit.
In addition to this article, check out this one by Relish Growth!
5 Ways to cope with the winter blues.
Join in on virtual classes, meet ups and seminars.
With COVID preventing us from meeting up with friends, family, and support groups, it can be difficult to handle our mental health. I’ve found myself becoming more anxious as the weeks go on and I know it’s because I’m cooped up in the house, unable to go anywhere but work and home again. So when I was contacted by The Little Surprises Company to attend Restival 2021, I jumped at the chance. Although no one is able to attend in person, we can easily join in from our office, couch, and even our kitchen.
Restival starts on Sunday 17th of January and continues through to Monday the 18th, also known as ‘Blue Monday.‘ It was started by The Little Surprises Company which offers surprise gift experiences. You definitely need to check them out if you’re in need of a pick me up a gift for someone you love. Perfect for any keyworker heroes in your area!
“This will be a digital festival intended to make us feel healthier, happier & refreshed. With everything from reflexology and healthy cooking workshops to mandala drawing and a writers’ salon, this is the perfect chance to learn something new, get creative and take some time out to look after yourself. A great way to beat the January blues, with a brilliant two days of positivity.
Following a really tricky year for all of us, with so many of us spending the majority of our week at home, Hannah-Beth Clark – founder of The Little Surprises Company decided that she wanted to plan something that people could look forward to in January, something that wouldn’t be canceled by changes to the tiering restrictions!
Set up a daily, weekly or monthly plan.
With the night creeping in so soon in the evening, it can be difficult to distract from the world around us. There’s less time spent in the garden and more spent on the couch. If you’re like me and constantly find yourself needing something to occupy your mind, why not set up your planner or calendar for the year ahead. Or you could get lost in a new hobby or an old passion.
Stuck? Here’s some suggestions to get you started.
- Clean up your To Read list. Add new ones, tick off old ones, and get rid of the ones you’ll never read.
- Set up your planner. It can be for just the week ahead, the month or if you’re ambitious, the year!
- Join in on an online class or seminar like the ones mentioned above. You can also find lots of free classes in a variety of places.
- Arrange a Zoom quiz with your pals.
- If you’re into games, get online and find a new multiplayer game to get addicted to.
- Research a new hobby like knitting, crochet, painting, clay modeling, or even glasswork (if you have the tools).
- Colouring books are also a great way to keep your hand’s busy ut with minimal effort.
Open your curtains.
A lack of sunlight during the winter months can be one of the main contributors to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). With so many of us being locked indoors unable to get our Vitamin D fix, SAD is now more prevalent than ever. Although I have the privilege of being able to take a relaxing and distanced walk around my local countryside, the same can’t be said for those within built-up areas. But there are other ways you can help yourself.
- Open your curtains and put the window on the latch.
- Get a therapy lamp to help boost your happiness.
- If you’re still heading out to work and live within a decent distance, why not switch up driving for walking?
- Take five minutes in the morning or early afternoon to stand outside and take in the fresh air.
If you’d like to read more about the positive impacts of lighting, check out How Lighting Can Impact Our Mental Health.
Don’t put pressure on yourself.
When the new year rolls around we often get caught up in setting goals or affirmations. You don’t have to, even if your friends are. Setting goals for ourselves that are unrealistic can be disheartening. Instead, if you’re going to set goals, settle for something simpler. Vow to read ten pages of a book each day or cook dinner twice a week. Start small and it’ll remain manageable.
Take a break.
Taking time out for ourselves doesn’t make us lazy or selfish, it’s necessary. Self-care is NOT selfish, and that’s the real T.
Positive psychology research has long associated gratitude with improved feelings of happiness. Its thought to improve the positive emotions we feel, allows us to hold onto good experiences, enables us to better deal with adversity, and even helps us to build and maintain healthy relationships.
Now is the best time to start practising gratitude in your daily life. It’s all to easy to get bogged down with all the negatives around us. I’m certainly someone who is a natural pessimist. Or, was. My mindset has shifted since starting my gratitude journey, and although it can be difficult at times, I much prefer the positive outlook I’ve developed.
To get started with gratitude simply write down three things you’re thankful for every day. You can do this at night or first thing in the morning, and some people even do both. Nothing is too small. Thankful for that first cup of coffee in the morning? Write it down. Your cat? Write it down.
How do you beat the post-holiday blues?
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I love these ideas, winter blues can be so hard to get through. My creative hobbies really help me out this time of year, the festival sounds brilliant too x
Agree with these tips! I have a lot of natural light so it helps me a ton during winter.
Great ideas and good way to change ourselves. Our windows are open all day. Also there is some sunshine and little cold. Love the weather.
Our windows are open all day long.. it’s pretty cold here. Thanks for ideas
These are all very good ideas. I did not know about the mood light, that would really help. Especially now that everyone has to stay inside.
We don’t live easy times. Every tip to feel better is so precious!
I feel like this year is even in more of a slump because we are still stuck in the pandemic almost a year in. It is hard to feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for sharing these ideas.
These are all such wonderful tips. I’m glad you shared them with us. It can definitely be hard to get back to things after the holidays.
Great post and so relatable. We let natural light come in during the day, take walks to enjoy the fresh air and nature and have enjoyed boardgames with the kids to keep everyone off social media as much as possible.
The holiday blues can turn November and December into a time of dread and despair, but there are things that you can do to turn things around. Start by paying attention to the things that are contributing to your stress and anxiety. By understanding what leads to your seasonal sadness, you can start taking steps to control these triggers before they hijack your happiness. And your points are really good!
Practicing gratitude is so important. Loved the blog.
This is something that I need. I’m still thinking of the holidays up to now.
I always feel a little blue right after Christmas but the start of the new year helps to pick me back up. I think being outside helps so much and setting goals helps keep my mind occupied.
Honestly, I can’t stress the ‘don’t put too much pressure on yourself’ point enough. With the New Year kicking off, we are often pressured by society to set big resolutions. With this comes the pressure to accomplish everything that we’ve set out to do sooner rather than later. That leaves us struggling with the battle between the pressure to succeed and the post holiday blues – it’s a seriously toxic battle.
I just walked 7 km today and it was refreshing, I find that setting a schedule and practicing gratitude really helps with post holiday blues.
Setting up my daily, weekly and monthly plan is really one way of getting ready for this year. Also, taking time to talk to family and friends virtually to keep me sane all the time.
I feel that there are a lot of people sharing their achievements from last year, which for many of us in certain industries has been non productive at all. That contributes to feeling down and accentuate the holiday blues. I like the idea of an online festival where you can practice more self care and connect with other people with the same struggles as you.
Post holiday blues stay for some time and then fade away. These are some good tips to get rid of them. A long walk or a session of Yoga is what I prefer.
Yeah I experience this post holiday blues too. God, I missed the usual celebrations.
These tips are really helpful.I like that you’ve mentioned about joining the online meetings and seminars.I do the same.And even I love to conect with bloggers virtually reading and commenting on their blogs which make me relaxed!
I really enjoyed reading this post. These are really helpful tips.
A fitting post for me. I agree with opening your curtains, it helps set my mood for the day.
Great advise. It really it hard to stay positive when it is so dreary!
I agree fully with your concerns about the sadness of this post holiday time period. We have a few months of cold and winter’s short days before spring wakes us up again.
I admit that this year, incredibly, is the first year that I have not only enjoyed the holidays in a pure and beautiful way, but I have managed to overcome them even without the sadness that often accompanies me.
I’m not sure if I’ve already commented on this but I don’t care, great post! I actually don’t ever mind January. I love the fresh start feeling and always feel pretty motivated during this time of year. Although this lockdown is far from ideal of course. For me, still getting out in the fresh air, despite how cold it is, is so vital for my well-being!
Yes, I love a bright house. I always open windows! If the house is dark I don’t feel as productive. And I always try to be grateful for what I do have.
I have found that going for walks outside has really helped – the sunlight and fresh air definitely perk me up.
Thank you for reading 😀
Thanks for the tips! I am just overcoming my holiday blues at this time.
Thank you so much for reading 😀
Exactly 😀 Among other lovely things.
Thank you for reading.
going out for A nice walk is so comforting and natural light is relaxing !
Natural light is so important. Also exercising, listening to happy music and keeping yourself busy!
I’ve definitely been feeling it, especially on this Blue Monday. These are some great tips to get back into the groove!
It’s okay, don’t worry. My like button hasn’t been working either on some peoples blogs – it must be a thing with WordPress. But don’t panic! I do appreciate you taking the time to comment and let me know, though. I’ll have to investigate further!
Thank you so much for commenting.
So am I!
Sunlight is so important to use as humans. More people need to get up and at least throw open the curtains to aid their mood.
Thank you so much for stopping in and commenting.
Get myself to work is my main step and pan some things to do. I will add more of these ways, thank you for sharing it.
The only curtains I close in my house are the office and the bedroom, but both are opened in the morning. The light in the office is especially lovely this time of year, even when it is freezing outside!
Thank you so much for stopping in and reading 🙂
We don’t even have snow, just endless cold, and frost. I hope our Spring is good this year and that the sun graces us. Even for a little bit!
Thank you for reading 😀
I get the feeling of relief. It’s like “Whew, it’s finally all over.” But then I start to feel sadness because the new year will always remind me of the people who are no longer here to see it come in. That and the weather is awful!
Thank you so much for reading 😀
I find if I set too much of a big goal, it can be too daunting which causes me to cease up.
Thank you so much for stopping in and reading Kez!
I think we all need to look forward to something so that works. I’ve had a few ideas for things to do this year i.e go to the spa, maybe take a quick holiday etc and it makes you feel better to think ‘Just a wee bit longer until….’
Thank you so much for stopping in and reading 🙂
Same! Not least of all because they can be cold and miserable. I just want Spring to appear as soon as possible!
Thank you for stopping in and reading.
Thank you for reading, I’m glad this post was able to inform you a wee bit more. x
I’m thinking the same! At least roll on Spring for a bit of a Temperature rise.
Thank you so much for reading 🙂
We were very much the same. Mad Christmas dash and then a fairly standard and quiet new years. I always find new years more distressing than Christmas for a variety of reasons, but it was actually fine this year.
Thank you so much for stopping in and reading Kim’s lovely post.
Thank you so much for stopping in and reading Kim’s wonderful article. I think we can all relate to feeling out of touch after the holidays as if we’re wandering around unaided.
Exactly! It’s free to open the curtains to a brand new day. 🙂
Thank you so much for stopping in and commenting. x
These are great tips, the holidays are stressful to begin with but when coupled with depression, they can be debilitating.
Don’t underestimate natural light! Opening the curtains and letting the sunlight into your home, or taking a stroll outdoors, can be very therapeutic.
The holidays are such a whirlwind, no wonder it leaves us feeling a little down. These are such easy things to help us out too. I think I’m going to drag my laptop outside to work every so often to soak up some rays. It’s definitely not something I think about on the regular!
We had a nice combination this year! Manic Christmas with all the family over for dinner. But a quiet new years, I love school holidays having kids off school and playing games/watching movies etc. Roll on the next school holidays now in Feb!
I have always got the holiday blues this time of year no money weather is miserable. I know we shouldnt wish our lifes away but roll on summer xx
I’ve heard about this holiday blues but never so much… This is why I like to read more about things I don’t know and you have helped me. That’s interesting, thank you for sharing it! – Paolo
I always have the post holiday blues! January-March are my least favorite months of the year!
Love this post! My mental health really struggled during those in between days especially – I found planning things to look forward to really helpful and I totally agree with what you said about taking the decorations down, it’s also an excuse to have a bit of a spring clean too which really helps you to feel more productive!
Setting small targets is very important! I’ve often seen people discouraged because they haven’t been able to reach an unattainable goal.
I’ve never heard of the post holiday blues!! I tend to feel a bit of relief after the holidays – the stress of gifting or hosting is over, and the kids go back to school, whoooohoooo!!! Though, it also means like 2 harsh months of winter left with not beautiful decorations to get you through it. And I really feel for the people hit deeper from SAD, I’d definitely invest in a sun lamp and mid winter getaway!!
My problem is that I get really excited for snow when the holidays come around because it makes them magical. BUT THEN the holidays are over and I’m stuck with this cold, nasty white stuff. So here I am, tons of snow on the ground, and all I want is summer. Sigh.
My curtains stay open 24/7 so if there is light outside there is light inside. And I have tons of huge windows. It makes such a huge difference in my mood. I literally can’t function if it isn’t super bright.
As for the other things, some of them are a work in progress. Loneliness can hit even in the midst of people. It is a strange thing.
I so agree with opening the curtains and letting the light in. This helps me along with exercise
Great article. I am still trying to get back to normal.
I especially love your point about not putting too much pressure on yourself. There’s enough pressure around Christmas & NY as it is. “Keep it simple! Don’t set out to save the world when you could start with something simple, like upping your recycling game” – absolutely, even the small things can make a big difference. Great guest post from Kim.
PS. Just wanted to say – I’m not ignoring your blog posts, Nyxie, I just can’t ever seem to ‘like’ them any more. I get notifications of new posts of yours by email (they don’t show on the WP reader) so I always come directly to your blog and no amount of reloading seems to make the ‘like’ button appear any more.