A Cure for the Post-Holiday Blues!

You’ve opened all the presents, recovered from food comas, and uploaded your holiday photos to Instagram. But now that the trimmings are gone and parties are over, are you feeling down? It might come as no surprise that seasonal blues often reach their peak once the festivities have ended.

The usual blah-blah New Year’s resolutions — lose 20 pounds, go to the gym more, drink less, get off the IPhone and spending more quality time with your family — have a way of fading by mid-January as reality sets back in. You go to the office and facing you is a blank calendar. Before you get that sinking feeling — think.

“A blank calendar means, literally, a clean slate,” says Andrew J. DuBrin, PhD, professor of management at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. “Think of something positive as of this very minute,” he advises. ”Maybe you got a compliment from the boss — that’s positive. And old customer calls — that’s positive. Perhaps your credit card company made a mistake and they owe YOU money (that would be awesome!).”

Sometimes we forget to recognize all of the positive things in our lives, and take for granted the little presents that are given to us each day–from a fresh cup of coffee to a smile on a loved one’s face.

Take this clean slate and use it to start jotting down one positive thing or something that you are thankful for in a “Gratitude Notebook” every day.  This is the perfect tool to help you record the positive events in your life from the tiniest to the grandest! Or, Try your hand at reviving the lost art of thank-you notes to express gratitude.

Scheduling some fun activities for the New Year can be a helpful boost to our mood. Research shows that having things to look forward to keeps us happy. Why not host a President’s Day party and invite guests to come dressed as their favorite Commander-in-Chief? Or host a party on Valentine’s Day so no one can complain about not having plans. A movie night with friends, a nice dinner out, a relaxing massage, or a day hike may be all it takes. It’s the anticipation of fun that counts.

With the holidays over and work in full swing, many of us might experience dips in mood, motivation and energy. Getting back on track takes a few weeks, so take it easy as you transition back to a normal routine. Avoid lofty expectations and schedule fun outings to look forward to.  If your blues don’t lift in the days and weeks after you return to life as you once knew it, pre-holiday, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. (Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real issue.)

Happy New Year!

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