You know, you shouldn’t have to go into therapy just because the hard part of Christmas is over.
Read most articles about fighting the post-holiday blues, however, and you’ll learn either that you’re crippled for life with no hope of a cure or that you need to join a host of support groups to deal with how crippled you are – and not just at the holidays.
Your Examiner suggests that perhaps not just the drama queens need to another disorder to complain about because suddenly – even for those who paid others to do their holiday worrying for them – almost no one has enough to do.
The betting is even money that firemen, policemen and doctors and nurses don’t feel let down at the holidays.
Because they have something to do every day, maybe even when they’re on vacation.
Not that kind of busy. Not ever.
Even people who know how to stay busy – or at least keep themselves entertained – get post-holiday stress.
The causes may be many – egregious hangover, too much fat and sugar and not enough fiber, not enough sleep, not enough privacy.
In fact, even the most joyous of holidays disrupts your regular routine, which affects your brain chemistry in most negative ways.
Bad chemistry, bad mojo.
I can fix my brain chemistry?
- Fix #1: Catch up on your sleep. Even your kids need to after Christmas. As you’ve heard, plentiful, restful sleep is essential to good health. Everything you’ve done to enjoy the holidays has disrupted your normal sleep cycle. Probably most of the reason you feel cruddy is that you’re sleep deprived.
- Fix #2: Get some fresh air. Even if you have to bundle up like a mummy. Scented candles, air fresheners, heated air, cooking smells all combine in the fall and winter to make the air in your house not so fresh. You need to get out of the miasma and clear your lungs. If you don’t keep houseplants, which help replenish indoor oxygen, winter time is a great time to get some.
- Fix #3: Get some exercise. We all use the holidays as an excuse to sit on our asses. So many bowl games and Wii stations so little time, plus it’s colder and it gets dark early. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block, get out in the sunshine and move around. Your brain needs sunlight even in the winter.
- Fix #4: Stop eating crap. Good as they are, fruitcake and eggnog don’t make sunshine in the body. Go back to eating right for winter – fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, lean protein, healthy carbs and fiber.
- Fix #5: Get organized. Put the house back in order as soon as your guests leave, except for the holiday decorations. It’s still Christmas, and those are for you. As you incorporate your Christmas presents into the house, put together a pile of perfectly useable that things you know you won’t ever use again, then make donations to organizations like Good Will and the Salvation Army. And balance your checkbook and organize your bills, too.
- Fix 6#: Make some me time. The holidays are all about family and kids. Now that you’ve made them happier, you need some quiet time, too. If you feel like staying home to watch the game by yourself instead of heading to the sports bar with your buddies, do so, and don’t get guilted into inviting them over. If you feel like going out, go out.
Give yourself a couple of weeks to get back into your normal routine, then re-assess your mood.
If you’re still not right, maybe it’s time to see a doctor. Just in case.
Many more times than not, getting back to your normal, everyday life – where you have normal, necessary things to do every day – fixes the anxiety and that grubby, dragged-out feeling you get after New Years.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: email@example.com