Whew, okay you made it through the chaos of the holidays. But now what? The frenzied pace that you’ve been accustomed to has suddenly slowed and now it’s back to normal life (whatever that even means these days). Maybe you thought you’d feel relieved once you put the stress of the festivities behind you, but instead you feel a little off.
It’s completely normal to experience post-holiday funk. Think about it… during the stretch from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, you’ve likely been running around shopping for gifts, entertaining family, trying to nail that pie recipe… Then suddenly it’s all just over. After the emotional whirlwind, going back to your day-to-day routine can feel like a huge let down. Plus, oh yeah, there’s the reality that we’re still coping with the ongoing global pandemic.
If you’re struggling to find joy now that the party is over, or you’re feeling guilty for the over-indulgence of it all, we’re here to help you take small steps to soothe the post-holiday blues.
How to soothe your post-holiday blues
For most of us, the holidays are emotionally charged. Whether yours was highly stressful or quite blissful, coming down from the chaos can be a shock to your system. It’s no wonder that these winter weeks, lacking sunlight and celebration, can feel pretty lonely and a little too quiet for many of us. And these moments can even bring up memories and feelings from other times you were lonely or disappointed.
If you’ve fallen into a funk, give a few of these mood-lifting suggestions a try. They’ve worked for our team at Sanvello, so hopefully they’ll help you find a little more joy in your darker days too.
- Don’t beat yourself up. The holidays are a time of indulgence – maybe you’ve been eating or drinking more than normal, went wild with the online shopping, or your self-care routine has totally fallen off. Please be gentle with yourself as you transition back to your day-to-day life. Try creating a daily affirmation for when you feel low and treat yourself with the same kindness you would show a friend who is having a tough day. Our self-talk is a powerful mental health tool, so try to be aware of how you’re communicating with yourself right now.
- Easy on the resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are built to fail, so consider breaking yours into small, actionable steps to get you where you want to be. For example, if your resolution is to get into better physical shape, take time to journal a plan for how you can realistically move your body each day. Focus on what you love (dancing, yoga, walking your dog, etc.) and how you can make it a priority without the pressure. Get intentional about why you want to take these small steps and instead of “shoulds” and shame, try meeting yourself with patience and care.
- Vent to a friend. Don’t believe the hype on your social media feed. There’s a good chance that many people around you are experiencing the blues too. If you’re feeling blah, send a text or give a friend a call to see if they want to commiserate over the holiday highs and lows. Once you’ve had a vent session, notice how these moments of connection can change your mood.
- Sit with gratitude. Were you gifted a pair of cozy socks you love? Did you have an insightful conversation with your aunt? What about the feeling when you saw the neighbor’s holiday lights for the first time? Take some time to journal a really granular gratitude list, reflecting on all the good stuff. Mentally revisiting these moments can help us reclaim some of the joy from the holidays. Give it a try now and inspire others by sharing one thing you’re thankful for with our Gratitude Community.
- Declutter your space. The holidays can bring in an excess of stuff – leftover food, wrapping paper, boxes (and the gifts that came in them), holiday decor, etc. Set aside some time to clear out your home, donating what you no longer need to a local charity. Really get in the back of those drawers, under the bed, and any place you’ve been avoiding. Starting the year with a fresh, decluttered space can offer the calm and clarity that you crave.
- Limit news consumption. Sure, it’s important that we stay informed with what’s going on in the world, but constantly devouring sensational headlines can take a huge toll on our mental health. Try setting limits to take care of yourself – maybe this means turning the notifications off on your phone, taking a social media break, or limiting your news consumption to 30 minutes each day. You can use the time you’re not doom scrolling to do something that makes you feel good, like reading a chapter of your book or playing a feel good playlist and taking a walk outside.
- Normalize these feelings of sadness. It is completely understandable to feel down right now. By giving yourself time and permission to feel what you’re feeling, you can start to move through difficult emotions. If you need additional support, reach out to a mental health professional who can help you to process it all.
This time of year is tough for so many of us. Remember that you’re not alone in your post-holiday funk and there are ways to bring a little light into your days. We’ll be here, all winter long, to walk through the blues with you.
By Katie Nave, Copywriter at Sanvello
Katie is a writer and mental health advocate living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been featured in publications including Newsweek, Glamour, Business Insider, and Motherly. She has served as a producer for the National Women’s March and worked with organizations like Girls Inc. and CancerCare. She is currently the Copywriter at Sanvello and you can follow her on Instagram: @kathryn.e.nave.