For many people, the holiday season is a time of excitement and anticipation. But for some, it can be a hard time where people experience loneliness and sadness. Either way, it’s a time of heightened emotions.
After the holidays have come to a close and you return to work, it can be difficult to come to terms with the normality of everyday routine. During this time, it’s quite normal for people to experience the “post-holiday blues.”
While most people bounce back from this period of sadness quite quickly, it’s good to know the signs of this sadness and ways you can handle your emotions better. In this post, Select Psychology answers these questions and more.
What Are Post-Holiday Blues?
The post-holiday blues is a temporary period after the holidays where one experiences feelings of distress, anxiety and sadness. These feelings may arise due to unrealistic expectations or memories surrounding the holiday period.
How Long Does Post-Holiday Sadness Last?
There’s no set time period for the post-holiday blues – it’s different for each person. Some people may experience it for a few days whilst others might feel down for a few weeks. However, if you feel that your post-holiday depression is not getting any better or is perhaps becoming worse, then you should consider getting in touch with a therapist.
How Do I Prevent Post-Holiday Sadness?
For some people, the holiday period is filled with emotional triggers and stress. This can leave them feeling exhausted and like they don’t have enough time to themselves. So, when the holiday period has eventually passed, they may feel relief. However, others may feel down as they have no more exciting events to look forward to.
However, you can prevent yourself from experiencing this sadness if you are prepared. Firstly, you should make time for yourself a priority – plan some downtime when you can do something you enjoy, like reading or watching a movie. Organising a family weekend away can also give you some quality time with your loved ones where you can simply relax and not have to worry about entertaining people or going to events.
Additionally, it’s important to look at how you currently spend your weeknights after work and prioritise doing things you enjoy. This way, you can still enjoy some of the festive season celebrations while ensuring you have enough time to yourself.
What Causes The Post-Holiday Blues
There is no single cause for post-holiday sadness; however, experts generally agree that post-holiday blues are often the result of an adrenaline drop following the fun and excitement that comes with the festive season.
While this is believed to be the main reason, there are many other factors that can trigger this post-holiday sadness, such as overeating, alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, financial strain and being excessively busy.
Signs Of Post-Holiday Blues
There are various signs that may indicate that you’re experiencing post-holiday blues, such as feeling:
How To Overcome The Post-Holiday Blues
While prevention is key, it’s not always possible to stop those sad feelings before they arrive. However, there are still many ways you can help yourself deal with and get over this period of sadness.
Connecting with family and friends is a great way to recenter yourself and build on deeper connections. Another idea is to document your vacation through a journal or photographs, which can serve as a reminder of the fun and enjoyable experiences you had while on holiday.
Another way to overcome the post-holiday blues is to take a detox. The holidays are a time of celebration, and it’s often the time when we indulge ourselves with food and drink. Taking a detox after a holiday can help you feel better physically and mentally, which should help combat those post-holiday blues.
However, if you find that none of these strategies helps, and that your post-holiday blues are getting worse, you may need to get professional help.