With Christmas celebrations coming to an end, the post-holiday blues kick in and will be a huge strain on your mental and physical health. For holidays that are on a weekend, the pros would be that they’re easier to plan for (especially a big family gathering), while the cons would be post-holiday blues and the aftermath of all the preparations for the holiday dinner.
What’s Post Holiday Blues (PHB)?
Known as Post Vacation Syndrome to others, many of the symptoms of post-holiday blues are similar to those of an anxiety or mood disorder: insomnia, poor energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and anxiety. However, unlike clinically diagnosed depression, PHB is short-term rather than long-term.
Causes of PHB
There’s not much research done for PHB, however… experts concur that the main cause is a drop in adrenaline. Additionally, according to Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore, a clinical psychologist from Princeton, NJ, the abrupt withdrawal of stress hormones following a major event, such as a wedding, a huge deadline, or the holidays, can have a significant influence on our bodily and psychological well-being.
Another notable cause of PHB would be dieting as well. Overeating is a common occurrence during the holidays as, the sugar and alcohol consumption in the food served would spike up our sugar levels and lead to a sugar crash later.
PHB may be temporary, but you have to deal with it. Here are a few coping tips for your own PHB post-Christmas celebration.
Catch up with missing rest
With the holiday feast preparations done and all crockery cleaned, it’s time to give yourself a rest. Experts recommend that you get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a nutrient-dense diet to improve your mood and manage your PHB symptoms. These habits typically fall by the wayside over the Christmas season, particularly with late-night events, sugary treats, and extensive to-do lists.
Don’t push yourself too hard
PHB is a short-term slump after the highs of the holiday celebration. Give yourself time to process with all the adrenaline, and don’t pressure yourself to push past PHB. Why not do something fun for yourself to help yourself to relax.
Start taking off the holiday decorations a week after, and try doing something else unrelated to the holidays, so you don’t unknowingly retrace your steps and lose track of what you’ve already lost.
Revamp your lifestyle – exercise & diet
Christmas dinners involve excessive intake of sugar, salt and other unhealthy components. Exercise regularly to burn the fat (remember, don’t skip leg day) and change your diet as well to balance out the overconsumption of sodium and fats.
Post-holiday blues could change one’s life for the better or worse. A way to prevent PHB would be planning ahead of time for the holidays. But always keep in mind to no overexert yourself during pre-planning stages for any upcoming holidays.