Photo used for illustrative purpose.
Sure, the holidays are filled with love, tradition, family and fun. But for many, the nonstop activity and socializing can take a toll on their mental health.
The post-holiday blues — a term coined for those who experience sadness during and after the festive season — are more common than you might realize. The American Psychology Association suggested that 68% of people felt fatigued during or after the season.
If you fall within that percentage, the good news is that there are ways to help combat those feelings.
“We have all this stuff going on from the end of October through the end of December” Dr. Jennifer Hartstein told CBS News. “We’re busy ... and often there’s nothing left after that. We go back to our regular lives and we get bumbled out about it.”
Common symptoms of post-holiday blues include feelings of regret, loneliness, mood swings and anxiety, which can be triggered or worsened by drinking, isolation and problems with family and friends.
Dr. Hartstein shared the importance of diet when it comes to how we feel. While taking physical action against the holiday blues, you should also look at what you’re eating to replenish your body and brain. Getting plenty of water is important. In addition, whole grains, nuts, lean meats and oily fish like salmon can help.
If you tend to be a people pleaser and forget about yourself during this busy time of the year, try setting boundaries for your loved ones. Don’t take on more than you can, and start saying “no’ if you aren’t feeling up to the task or are busy.
When you find yourself talking or thinking negatively, change your thought process.
“For example, you may reframe the thought, ‘January is going to be a terrible month’ into ‘Although I will miss the holidays, I’m going to focus on what’s important to me now and be grateful for the time I experienced during the holiday,” said Rae Mazzei, Psy.D., B.C.B., an Arizona-based health psychologist, to Healthline.
Put yourself first
This is the perfect time to practice self care. If you find yourself alone after the holidays and getting into a funk, pull yourself out of that rut by taking care of yourself. Now is the time to plan a spa day, read a book, do some cleaning or whatever typically brightens your day.
It’s no secret that it can be lonely after the holiday rush ends. This is a perfect time to connect with friends you didn’t see over the holidays or to meet new ones. Check with your local community center or groups online to make more connections.
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