The festive season can bring us joy for many reasons, in particular by bringing us together with our loved ones. This is something many of us cherished more than ever this past year due to the challenges of the global pandemic recently.
However, unfortunately, the holidays can also be a period that brings up more worries, stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of loneliness, grief, and other negative emotions. You may find you were triggered by those in your life, that the festive season brought home things you haven’t achieved or enjoyed yet, or that eating too many of the wrong things has left you with a low mood.
While it may not be a simple solution to just snap out of these blues, there are some proactive steps you can take to feel slowly but surely better.
Catch Up on Sleep
Ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep each night. The average recommended number of hours is seven to eight but if you ended up quite sleep-deprived after the holiday season due to lots of parties or insomnia or other reasons, you may need more than this for a while to catch up. Utilize helpful supplements as needed to get more sleep, such as CBD products with melatonin in them, valerian root, lavender, or sleeping pills, etc., to rest more easily and deeply.
Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the rest you require by going to bed and getting up at around the same time daily, avoiding screens in the hour or two before bed, and making your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. It should have blackout blinds and a way for you to set a suitable temperature, such as via fans, air conditioning, or heaters. Sleep is vital when you’re feeling blue as it improves mood and makes it much easier to face the day and do the other things that can get you feeling better.
If you got out of the habit of exercising during the Christmas and New Year period due to being busy with parties or other things, now is the time to get back into activity ASAP. Alternatively, if you haven’t exercised much for months or even years, some light to moderate movement can make a world of difference to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Exercise is crucial for mood because it produces the feel-good endorphins that are so vital to the mind and body.
Eat Healthily and Avoid Overeating
The wrong diet can significantly exacerbate mood problems, so try to eat as healthily as you can right now, especially if your meals were less than stellar over the festive season. Steer clear of too much sugar, salt, and processed food and concentrate instead on consuming plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and quality proteins, good fats, and low-GI carbohydrates.
Also, avoid overeating further. Overindulgence is a common part of the holidays but it’s not good for your body or your mind and can make you feel more lethargic and down, making it harder for you to make good decisions. Eating things you shouldn’t can make you feel guilty and shameful, too.
Spend Time with People Who Make You Feel Good
Holiday blues often come on after Christmas since we can find ourselves spending time with people who push our buttons, trigger negative feelings, and just generally stress us out. To feel better now, then, concentrate on hanging out with the people you feel good around. This may be friends, family members, colleagues, or others. Schedule time in your week to go and do some fun things with those you know you’ll depart from feeling happier than when you began.
See a Therapist
It also pays to speak with a qualified therapist about your feelings, especially if you think you’ve developed depression or anxiety or have those conditions and are experiencing them worse than normal right now. A counselor, psychologist, or another person can be there for you to vent to and express how you’re feeling, and they can give you some suggested treatment ideas for improving your mood over the coming weeks and months.
Some other tips you can follow to cope with the blues include keeping a gratitude journal, so you focus on the good in your life, reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption, practicing meditation and deep breathing, and getting more light exposure so you don’t get too low on vitamin D.
Every step you take to look after yourself and move into a more positive direction will help and you should hopefully start to feel a bit happier and more like your normal self soon.