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Post-Holiday Blues
Photo: Studiomill
We had some family friends stop by for a visit during the week between Christmas and New Years. Staring longingly at our lighted Christmas tree the dad said, “I always get kind of blue after the holidays. You know, when it’s all over and you want to bring the magic back….

”It’s true that the Christmas season is a wonderful time of year. Parents get time off from work and kids get a break from school. We travel to visit those we love and they come to visit us. There’s the baking and the sharing. The music and the decorations. The shopping and the unwrapping of gifts. It’s normal to wish all this could last a bit longer—but it’s not healthy to have those feelings turn into “the blues.”

A few days after our visitors were here, I searched the Internet for help with post-holiday blues. Many of the articles I found were disappointing—they were self-serving and only temporary fixes. Then I came across an article, “Find Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues”1 and thought the suggestions were worth passing on:

  • Make plans for a weekend trip or special evening outing.
    Invite friends for dinner (a potluck carry-in works well) or an evening of games.
  • Visit a shut-in or someone in a nursing home; it will brighten your day and theirs.
  • Invite your spouse/significant other out for a date and let him or her choose the activities for the evening.
  • Plan a special activity to do with your children. They miss the hustle and bustle, too.
  • Spend some time with family members reflecting on the holidays.
  • Start a new activity. Is there something you have always wanted to do but have never gotten around to learning how to do it?
  • Get fresh flowers for the house. They will brighten your home and your spirits.
  • Take time to write thank you notes for visits and gifts.
  • Make sure the lighting in your home is cheerful.
  • Bundle up real warm and take a walk. Exercise changes your brain chemistry in a positive way.
  • Volunteer. Part of what we love about the holidays is the feeling of goodwill.
What I like about this list is that it puts the focus on giving--not only to ourselves but also to others. And the suggestions are very doable. What’s more, they’re things we can enjoy all year long.

My brother used to say to me at the end of every Christmas, “What do you have to look forward to after the holidays, Nanc?” And I’d always say the same thing: “Life.” I look forward to each month—each season—and the unique specialness each brings. We can find joy in simple, every day living by trying the above suggestions, and adding our own. Then when the holidays are over, we’ll take the memories with us and look forward to all that the new year has to bring.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 Beat the Post-Holiday Blues

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