By D. Lanier Shook December 26, 2014
Christmas is a wonderful time of year that has been wonderfully oversold as a wonderful time of year. Millions of people woke up on December 26 with a huge hangover of the worst kind. This hangover doesn’t go away after twenty four to thirty eight hours. It lasts, sometimes for a lifetime. So here are five ways to help deal with the post-Christmas blahs.
1. Forewarned Is Forearmed
Realize it will happen. Nothing you got for Christmas and no event you went to will prevent post holiday depression. It’s just been oversold too much. Our culture has just over-promised too much.
Your reason to feel down is going to be different than mine, but you and I will feel down. The moment you anticipate the fact you’re going to feel let down by Christmas is the moment you’ve started to feel better. Congratulations your hangover has started to lift.
2. Admit You Are Disappointed
You’re disappointed, I’m disappointed, everybody’s disappointed. By admitting this we take the next step to a (mostly) normal emotional state. Unless we admit we are depressed — that the Holidays themselves don’t solve our issues and needs — we can’t feel better.
3. Count Your Blessings
So, the Holidays aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. But not everything is wrong with the world. There is something that went right during the holidays.
As much as I hate to admit it, happiness is a matter of perspective. If you expect somebody to throw rocks at you and they just cuss you out, you’re thrilled. On the other hand if you expect a hug and they just smile, you immediately begin to wonder what’s wrong.
So find something, however small, that went well over the holiday season. My glimmer of hope will be different than yours, but there will be one. That glimmer of hope is your horizon— it reorients you to the real world, the world outside the artificial construct known as Christmas. If you can find it and hold onto it you are on your way up out of holiday depression.
4. Get Busy
Whether or not you believe a idle mind is the devil’s workshop you need to recognize that just sitting and brooding only makes you feel worse. A pity party turns you into a victim who can’t do anything about your situation. So get busy.
Find something to do, whatever it is. Go read a book, take a walk, volunteer, take a daytrip — anything to occupy you or your mind. If your do this you’re halfway out of the post-Christmas blahs.
5. Realize You Are In Control
Post holiday depression is — usually — based around the idea that you aren’t where you want to be. Okay, so you’re not (and you may never be) but you are in control of something. Focus on that something.
Maybe it won’t be much, but there’s something. Take that something and do something with it. And the one thing you are in control of is your mood. Your mood is what is making you depressed. The holidays are just a time of year, but the space between your ears will be there in January.