10 Ways to Beat the After-Christmas Blues
Christmas is an emotional storm, so take a break. Move from emotion to thinking and action.
1. Start planning a Valentine’s Party, Martin Luther King Party or just a party because it's Friday. If you were running a day late and a dollar behind for Christmas, learn from it. Budget and start sooner, but have the fun of another “party” on the horizon. NB: Planning is a cerebral activity, i.e., neo-cortex.
2. Get active – add an extra hour to your daily workout. This creates physical energy, clears the mind, and flushes out toxic emotions.
3. Clean your house til it shines, and do the work yourself. This is a tradition for New Year’s in many cultures, symbolic of getting rid of bad stuff and making room for new stuff. Sweep toward the doors, or vacuum, then remove the bag and carry it out to the garbage. Out! Out! Clean the furniture and scrub the kitchen and bathroom. You will be amazed at how good and refreshed it makes you feel.
4. Clean the yard, shovel away dirty snow, clean the gutters, wash the windows and if you live in the north, wash all the salt rime off your car before it eats into the paint. Get rid of the Christmas tree and decorations because they serve as a constant reminder of why you have the blues in the first place.
5. Take a vacation. Go somewhere warm like a cruise to the Caribbean. The sun will do wonders for an attitude adjustment, as well as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). If you can't afford a holiday, get outside more, sit in the sunlight in your house for half an hour a day. Take a walk or a drive through town.
6. Hunker down and last it out – read good books, curl up by the fire and sleep if you feel like it. It’s a hibernating time anyway. Get massages. Take naps. And above all laugh. Laughter has been proven to be an extremely effective mood booster; releasing endorphins which instantly raise spirits and give a feeling of wellbeing. To help raise your spirits, grab a funny DVD or book and spend a few hours exercising your laughter muscles.
7. Start a new project at work or home – it will give everyone a lift. Focus on thinking, not feeling. For example, start thinking 'spring' and pot some bulbs or herbs for the garden later. Green, growing things have a way of making you feel one with nature and the universe and imparting a sense of tranquility.
8. Kickstart your brain by taking a new course. If you’re an extravert, go to community college classes. If you’re an introvert, enjoy yourself by taking online classes. If you are very physical, take some ballroom dancing lessons.
9. Change your diet dramatically. Do a juice fast, or something cleansing and healthy within the constraints of your physical condition. Get that sugar and alcohol out of your system and replace it with vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget your vitamin C.
10. Get rid of “stuff.” Grab garbage bags and fill them with useless or old stuff and get rid of it. Nice to donate to charity, of course, but if it is not charity worthy, make sure it goes to the dump. And send all your negative feelings to the dump with it.
10 & 1/2. Finally, look toward the new year with a positive view and think of ways to improve your lifestyle that are easily within reach. And the best way to improve and feel good about yourself at the same time, is to do a small kindness for someone every day. If none of these pointers help...maybe you are just a grumpy old humbug...ooor... you might want to consider getting some professional help.