By Peggy Defazio LPC
Coastal Counseling & Consulting LLC
Now that we’ve made it through the holidays, we’re in the clear for any type of mental health issues … right?! Not always. Studies show that most of us experience some type of holiday “letdown” once the holidays are over.
There are many reasons why we feel depressed and/or anxious after the holidays such as:
* The shift from a full social schedule to an empty January schedule, especially if you enjoyed all of the socializing.
* Our expectations for the holidays weren’t met.
* Missing family and friends who visited us during the holidays and/or family visits not going as well as hoped.
* Fatigue from traveling to visit family and friends.
* Missing those we no longer have around whether it is through divorce, distance, or death.
* Unfinished work due to taking time off for the holidays.
So, what can we do to help lift our blues? The number one thing to do that helps combat the post-holiday blues is to take good care of ourselves. We are not weak or silly for feeling depressed and/or anxious – we’re human! Here are some ideas on what we can do for ourselves to help us get through the post-holiday letdown:
* Return to eating a healthy diet.
* Plan an informal get-together with family and/or friends.
* Start or resume a reasonable exercise plan.
* Talk with friends and family.
* Plan some entertainment – the movies, a museum, or other activity in the community.
* Volunteer to help others.
* Above all, be patient. It may take time and effort to get rid of the post-holiday blues.
If your depression and/or anxiety are extreme, and/or doesn’t dissipate after trying several of the above suggestions, you may benefit from additional help. Please don’t ignore your feelings and call a licensed therapist. You can find local therapists by going to PsychologyToday.com and enter your zip code next to the “find a therapist” tag at the top of the page.
Until next time – take care.
Peggy Defazio, LPC