I shared this post on the Caffeinated Book Reviewer blog back in early November. I thought you might enjoying reading it as well. We all need a little emotional support at Christmas.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently talking to readers about the things they like and dislike about the holidays. Hands down, everyone’s favorite aspect of Thanksgiving and Christmas is spending time with family and friends. Most love the cooking and decorating, but few enjoy the shopping. Nearly everyone wishes we could take the commercialism out of Christmas. It saddens me to hear how many of my readers feel depressed after the holidays. I understand that melancholy feeling that comes on Christmas afternoon when the gifts have been opened, and the celebrating with family members is over, and I’m left with a great big mess. For a month, we focus our attention solely on preparing for this one event—bringing our families together, showering them with gifts, and feeding them good food. It is normal to feel let down when it all passes in the blink of an eye. I’d like to share with you some of the ways I survive the post-holiday blues.
- The take down. Taking down the decorations is the first step toward getting your life back together—because getting our lives back together is exactly what we have to do after we’ve put everything on hold for a month. There’s nothing more depressing than to have a dead tree sitting in the corner or dried out wreath on the door. I’m one of those obnoxious people who drags their tree to the curb two days after Christmas. Leave a few of your favorite decorations up until New Year’s Eve, but don’t let them linger longer than that. Once you have the responsibility of the take down off your back, you can relax and embrace the new year.
- Don’t procrastinate. If you neglect your other responsibilities during the holidays, they’ll mount up and overwhelm you come January.
- Don’t overspend. Stick to your holiday spending budget so as not to be taken by surprise when the bills arrive in January.
- Plan for next Christmas. If you’re pining for days gone by, get a head start on planning for next Christmas. Purchase that special ornament or decoration you’ve been admiring now while it’s on sale and you have gift money to spend.
- Get your calendar out. Plan your next event, whether it’s a Super Bowl party, a mid-week chili dinner for friends and family, or a Valentine’s getaway for your significant other. Having a new adventure on the horizon will give you something to look forward.
- Start a project. Find a new hobby. Learn to knit or take a sewing class. Get creative with those boxes of photos stored beneath your bed. Make iMovies or upload them to an online photo service like Shutterfly where you can create bound photo books, coffee mugs, calendars, and wall art. Master a new software program. I recently tackled Photoshop. I’m amazed at the different ways I can manipulate images and the cool graphics I can create.
- Take time for yourself. Finally, but most importantly, take time for yourself. You’ve earned it after the stress of the holidays. I love winter. The cold days. Snuggling up in front of a fire with a good book. Binge watching TV series. Drinking hot tea and red wine. All of the above at once. Whatever that thing is you enjoy doing, do more of it!