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Beating the Post-Holiday Blues
If you are like many people, you feel like you got on a moving walkway at the end of November and got unceremoniously dumped off on Jan. 2. You went from days with not enough hours to do everything you needed to do, to days that left you with time on your hands. And that might leave you with a case of the post-holiday blues.
Experts suggest some ways in which you can combat that feeling that there is nothing ahead of you but months of dark, cold winter:
Travel, or plan travel. If you can, consider a trip to somewhere warm and sunny. If that won’t work for you right now, start planning your summer vacation or a special-occasion trip for later in the year.
Learn something new. Have you ever wanted to learn Greek or take piano lessons – or learn any new skill? This is a great time to start, since your calendar probably is clear for the first time in months.
Take care of yourself. You have spent weeks focused on other people. Now take some time for yourself. Get enough sleep, eat right, get some exercise.
Look at the long term. Do you like your job, your home, your circumstances? If so, then great. But if not, think about what would make you happier – and how you might get it.
Think more about interesting things. Sure, you have been trying to figure out what to get Aunt Sally or how to fit all your family around the table. And that was important. But now you can think about ideas. Read a book – or better yet, join a book club. Start a journal. Read the news.
Get involved in the community. A good remedy for feeling lonely or at loose ends is to become part of something bigger than yourself. Volunteer for an organization you support. Make caps for hospitalized babies. Get out there, and give of your time and your self.
Clean. The kind of cleaning you do during the holidays mostly consists of making the public parts of your home spotless by tossing things into the bedrooms, closets, storage areas, etc. Now is the time to tackle those places. Go through your clothes, and donate what you no longer wear. Organize your cabinets. Make your kids take the boxes of their things you have been storing since they left for college.
Reconnect with people you like. The holidays can be great because you are spending time with people you care about. But you are spending time with a whole lot of them at a time. Slow it down. Have coffee with your neighbor. Teach your grandchild to sew or build a birdhouse. Have a movie night for a few close friends.
Get some flowers. Flowers remind us that spring is coming. So treat yourself to a bouquet of daisies or a tulip plant. And remember that the days are getting longer, and that winter soon will be in the rear-view mirror.