How to cope with post-hol­i­day syn­drome

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

Af­ter spend­ing a won­der­ful hol­i­day over the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod, some peo­ple feel blue and find that it’s dif­fi­cult to func­tion nor­mally in their daily rhythm. As de­fined by the DSM IV, hol­i­day blues, hol­i­day de­pres­sion, or post-christ­mas blues, th­ese com­monly used terms de­pict the men­tal dis­tress oc­cur­ring af­ter the win­ter hol­i­days and fes­ti­val sea­son. This ar­ti­cle is fo­cused on experiencing the “blues” since this term sug­gests mild men­tal dis­tress, a com­monly oc­cur­ring phe­nom­e­non when deal­ing with daily life stress and change.

Be­low are some sug­gested steps to get rid of your post-fes­tive sea­son hol­i­day blues.

Ex­pect some let-down. The hol­i­day sea­son is both joy­ful and stress­ful at once. There is fam­ily to get along with, gifts to buy and re­turn, peo­ple to visit, ac­tiv­i­ties to throw your­self into, plenty of fes­tive food to eat, sales to rush to, and par­ties to plan and at­tend. Topped off with the ex­cite­ment of New Year’s Eve, your adren­a­line has prob­a­bly been pump­ing a lot of the time dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year’s pe­riod.

re­turn­ing to the usual rou­tine and prob­a­bly qui­eter work­place than nor­mal can dampen your spir­its just by the ab­sence of ex­cit­ing things to do and look for­ward to. Equally, if your Christ­mas and New Year’s Eve pe­riod wasn’t as en­joy­able as you had hoped, you can be left feel­ing down about the lack of en­joy­ment you’d ex­pected and this can sour your mood. Ex­pect­ing to feel a lit­tle low is a way of telling your­self that this is a nor­mal feel­ing and that it will soon pass once the rou­tine re-es­tab­lishes it­self.

Choose to see the benefits of post-hol­i­day time. The good side to the end of the hol­i­days is that you’ve had a chance to rest, to re­lax, and to en­joy your­self. The crazi­ness prior to Christ­mas has ended both at the work­place and in the home, and the rest­ful time af­ter Christ­mas and New Year’s Eve has hope­fully given you the op­por­tu­nity to do things that are dif­fer­ent from your usual rou­tine. And any break in the rou­tine is good for the spirit, pro­vid­ing you with the chance to re­ju­ve­nate.

Be gen­tle on your­self with re­spect to your New Year’s Res­o­lu­tions. If you set the bar too high and you al­ready feel as if you’re slip­ping, don’t be­rate your­self. In­stead, look at your res­o­lu­tions real­is­ti­cally and as­sess whether they need some tweak­ing to en­sure that they’re achiev­able.

Dis­card the res­o­lu­tions that re­quired you to be too harsh on your­self and re­form them into ones that can be met now that the heady at­mos­phere of New Year’s Eve is be­hind you. Think of it as a dou­ble check­ing of the de­tails, and sim­ply fid­dle with the fine print!

Keep be­ing around peo­ple. Some of the post-hol­i­day sea­son blues might be re­lated to hav­ing been around many peo­ple over the Christ­mas break and then sud­denly find­ing your­self sur­rounded by peo­ple you don’t know that well, or even not by many peo­ple at all. Lift your spir­its by con­tin­u­ing to stay con­nected with friends and fam­ily, and get­ting out and about to do ac­tiv­i­ties where other peo­ple in­ter­act with you.

Do things that give you cause to look for­ward to some­thing. Re­vive the ex­cite­ment of an­tic­i­pa­tion by ar­rang­ing fun things, such as hav­ing din­ner with friends, start­ing a new class for a hobby or in­ter­est, at­tend­ing a sport­ing event reg­u­larly, go­ing to the movies, etc. Choose ac­tiv­i­ties that meet your bud­get and in­ter­ests, and that you know will give you a thrill.

Make healthy choices. Af­ter the many in­dul­gences over the hol­i­day pe­riod, it can leave you feel­ing a lit­tle out of shape and worse for wear in the nu­tri­tion depart­ment. Aim to re­turn to eat­ing healthy food, drink­ing healthy drinks, and en­sur­ing that you keep get­ting a good amount of ex­er­cise. Eat­ing well and keep­ing up regular ex­er­cise will en­hance your mood and help you re­turn to good shape and fit­ness lev­els. If you’re wor­ried about not keep­ing warm enough dur­ing the colder weather, have more healthy chunky, warm­ing soups that will both warm and fill you up with­out car­ry­ing lots of calo­ries. Warm sal­ads are also an ex­cel­lent choice dur­ing win­ter.

Make this a time for get­ting pro­fes­sional help and turn­ing around things that have been both­er­ing you. The hol­i­day sea­son tends to put a hold on press­ing is­sues at work and in your per­sonal life be­cause the cel­e­bra­tions, meet-ups, and prepa­ra­tions re­quire your fore­most at­ten­tion. Once this busy­ness dies down, you’re re­turned to think­ing about your gen­eral life is­sues and this might just be a good time to get help from the pro­fes­sion­als, be it for any­thing from sorting out your fi­nances, redec­o­rat­ing your home, or deal­ing with the un­happy feel­ings you’re experiencing.

Ex­pect to en­joy the year ahead. Try­ing to keep a pos­i­tive frame of mind and plan­ning for in­ter­est­ing and ful­fill­ing events through­out the year is a good way to calm your cur­rent blues.

Think ahead to the chang­ing sea­sons and the sorts of things you’d like to be do­ing as the year moves on, and the sorts of ac­tiv­i­ties and events you’d like to be a part of. Do­ing some­thing about the things you’d like to hap­pen is the first step and once you’re im­mersed in plan­ning and do­ing, you’ll be too busy to fret. — www.wik­

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