Well, the holidays are approaching — No! No! Don’t run! It’s okay. I’m just here to talk. Sit down. Stop shaking. We’re going to be okay. Here’s a paper bag. Breathe deeply. Breathe.
Believe me, I know from experience how all the holiday stress followed by post-holiday letdown makes you wonder if the season is even worth it.
When I was a kid, October and November were like “Friday,” and December was like a “no-rules-play-all-the-time Saturday.” Then came January, which was a lot like “Sunday” — complete with the Sunday Blues. Hello let down. Hello depression. Even now, I’m already dreading the holidays, because I know what January is going to feel like. Something has to change! I’ve been tackling the Sunday blues here at home in an attempt to overcome them, and dangit, I’m going to tackle those January blues too — this is getting ridiculous!
To help our Sundays, we’ve moved things around to let Friday night and Saturday be “play time” with socializing, family outings, etc. Sunday involves relaxing, planning, and chores, followed by an evening of free time. No more last-minute rushing to get things done and then dreading the coming week. So far, it’s been great. Sunday is a constructive start to the week instead of a depressing end to the weekend. And that’s what I want for our year: November and December as a fun end to the year and January as a constructive start to the next year. Enough with the post-holiday blues.
By the way, post-holiday depression is real.
According to an article on Healthline.com, holiday depression most often occurs just after the holidays, despite the common belief that the rates are higher during the season. Another article from The Huffington Post lists factors that lead to depression, such as having to say goodbye to visiting family and friends, college kids heading back to school, pure exhaustion, winter weather, etc. I’ve seen several suggestions on how to combat the post-holiday slump by planning post-holiday fun activities and family-made traditions, but that seems like more work to do after two very busy months! I propose another idea: Let’s get rid of the obligatory New Year’s Eve resolutions and January guilt fest.
New Year’s Resolutions. Really? You’re expected to get up the day after months of holiday preparation, visiting, and partying, and you’re supposed to develop a go-to attitude for life, organize the entire house, and jump right into the gym? That’s crazy talk! Instead, I propose taking a break — sit down with a cup of coffee and the family calendar. Give yourself a month to rest, recoup, and set realistic goals.
I’m starting with a November’s Eve Resolution for my January self:
- Brain dump all the crazy, right now. That is, write everything swimming around in your head and separate the things that need to be done over the holidays and the things that can wait for a January planning session.
- January morning, put an ice pack on your head to help with the New Year’s headache, waddle past the Christmas tree that still needs to come down, and make a cup of coffee.
- Grab your to-do list from your brain dump in November, grab the family calendar, and plan out a realistic beginning of the year that doesn’t involve your having a heart attack in in the middle of Zumba class. Schedule a weekend to de-holiday the house. Schedule some fun winter outings for the next couple of months. Mark a day for getting a jump on taxes. Pick a realistic workout routine and a time to start it. Then, take another sip of you coffee and enjoy your morning.
Post-holiday letdown already getting you down? Share your November’s Eve Resolutions with us for a productive and happy 2016!