What are the Post Holiday Blues?

Transcript of Neuro Nugget Video:

The holidays are a busy time and they last from Thanksgiving through the New Year’s Eve. That is a long period of time. While it may be an exciting stretch for many people, it can also be a prolonged period of loneliness and sadness for others. Throughout this time, emotions are heightened. Sometimes emotions are hard to regulate. It’s common after all the hoopla for people to experience a letdown or what some call the post-holiday blues. Usually not long-lasting, most people swing sort of back to normal after only a short while.

Here is what you need to know about this down period: Many people experience mental health challenges after the holidays. Scientists have in fact studied the effect of religious holidays on individuals. In a study called “The Christmas Effect on Psychopathology,” scientists conducted a search from 1980 to the present. They found a decrease in the overall utilization of psychiatric emergency services and admissions during the holiday, but they found an increase or a rebound following the Christmas holiday. How can you determine if what you have is indeed the post-holiday blues? After the adrenaline rush of the holidays, you may feel anxious, you may feel unmotivated, you may be in sort of a bad mood, you may be irritable, you may feel very stressed, you may be depressed, you may have insomnia, you may have worries about money, you may have excessive rumination. Here are some ways to get out of the funk after the holidays: Give yourself more time. This means giving yourself additional time from everything from unpacking to catching up on the mail.

Schedule a day or two as catch up time specifically. Use this as a buffer before returning to your regular routine. Change your mood by limiting social media. Talk to people by phone or in-person instead. Get some exercise. The Cleveland Clinic says you’ll feel happier and get those endorphins kicking in by going for a simple walk. Partake in nature therapy. It’s been proven that green spaces actually increase our sense of wellbeing. Eat well; focus on fish, whole grains, dark chocolate, and green tea that help combat stress. And definitely get enough sleep. The Sleep Foundation says poor sleep contributes to depression and that someone might be more likely to deal with sleep issues if they are depressed.

Find out if you’re suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, better known as SAD. SAD is a recurring depressive disorder during seasons of more darkness like winter. A recent study found adding exercise and going to the gym can very effectively treat SAD. Be nice to yourself. Cut yourself a little slack and administer some self-care. Schedule something to look forward to on the calendar. Rather than sort of slog through January, set up a time with friends to play sports, to check out a museum, or meet for a special lunch. Watch some funny movies. Humor and laughter absolutely can reduce your stress. Communicate that you’re feeling down. Tell family and close friends what you’re going through. They will be helpful. It’s natural that after all the excitement and the busyness of the holidays, you’d come down off the highs. If you are struggling mildly with these after holiday blues, try some of the remedies suggested. You’ll probably be able to shake off these blahs, cheer up, and get on with your new year.

If the struggles persist, give us a call and schedule a brain map to determine how neurofeedback can help. Wanna learn more about your brain and how it functions? Call and schedule your brain map today.

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Posted on

January 18, 2023