Beat the Post-Christmas Blues

Image from Vivanti.ca

The post-Christmas season can be a real emotional low point. Maybe there’s a backlog at work. Maybe your kids’ schedule is thrown off by late nights and holiday excess. Maybe you had a blowup at a family member during Christmas.

Whatever may be dragging you down, here are a few suggestions to lift your mood.

  • High-impact eating. This time of year there are a lot of sweets around for easy snacking. But these are low-impact foods: yes, they’re delicious and high-calorie, but they don’t actually make you feel full or satisfied. If you focus on eating meals that make you feel full and satisfied, you can enjoy those treats in small doses throughout the day (instead of having fudge for breakfast).
  • Exercise. I’ve written about this before: even as little as eight minutes of vigorous exercise can go a long way toward fighting anxiety and depression. Eight minutes a day! Make it something you love to do, and try it out for yourself.
  • Breathe deeply. Try this today: sit down in a quiet room, alone, and set a timer for 10 minutes. Shut your eyes and focus on your breath coming in and going out. Take deep, slow breaths and when the timer goes off, you’re done. This type of mindfulness exercise can help reset your mind and calm you down.
  • Try to forgive yourself and others. When you look back at the previous year, what were your triumphs? Your failures? Give yourself congratulations for the good, and forgive yourself for the bad. (I’ve written more about forgiveness in this post.) You can decide what practices do you want to carry forward, and what things you want to leave behind.

Above all, if you are carrying heavy emotional burdens you can’t seem to shift, contact me. I want to help in any way I can.

Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Mental Health Solutions, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. If you would like to discuss the information in this blog further with her, please call 208-918-0958. She sees adolescents and adults. Information in this blog is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider about decisions regarding your health.

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