8 Tips To Beat The Post-Holiday Blues

The holiday season was a whirlwind of ups and downs, perhaps a little drama and usually too many things crammed into too little time. What we hope to be a spiritually fulfilling time through Advent and up to the birth of Christ is usually an exhausting mad rush. But then the second of January rolls around and suddenly things drop off and life seems to stand still. There’s no more frenzied distraction or jam-packed to-do list. The long-remaining winter stretches out before us, and we feel a little dismal and even depressed.

Why Do We Get The Blues?

8 Tips To Beat The Post-Holiday Blues - Christian Drug RehabThere are several reasons we experience the post-holiday “blues,” which is often a softer way of describing mild depression. The parties are over, the family leaves and we’re no longer buoyed along by busyness and distraction. For some of us, we’re lamenting a Christmas that wasn’t what we had hoped it would be. Perhaps we experienced loss, strained family relationships and even relapse. Add to it the very sizable chunk of short days and cold weather left in the winter season, and we have a recipe for the blues.

Tips To Beat The Post-Holiday Blues

We can’t change how the holiday season shaped up and we certainly can’t change the weather, but recovery is about staying in the present moment, changing what we can change and accepting what we can’t. Our faith guides us to seek God and His will and to pray that He would show us joy and contentment. And the good news is that there are actually several things we can do to brighten the post-holiday season.

1. Sleep (But Not Too Much!)

Many times we so overextended ourselves during the weeks of December that when January hits we’re truly exhausted and maybe even under the weather. Try to reestablish regular sleep patterns as soon as possible—neither too much nor too little. It’s amazing what adequate sleep can do for our mood and outlook.

2. Make Peace

Maybe you’re still mulling over that argument you had with your sister or you’re feeling remorse because you overindulged or had a slip. Much of our disappointment after the holidays comes from the fact that people (including ourselves) and circumstances didn’t meet our expectations. Take time to work through any resentment and make the necessary amends. Seek God’s forgiveness and guidance, and extend that grace and forgiveness to yourself and others.

3. Resist The Urge To Hibernate

When we aren’t feeling at the top of our game, the temptation is to hole up in our pajamas in front of the television. While it seems comfortable, it rarely makes us feel better. Despite the cold, we have to get out there. Make plans with friends, check out a local attraction or plan a dinner party. You aren’t the only one feeling down, so reaching out can help others, too. Schedule some fun into the post-holiday weeks.

4. Reestablish Good Self-Care Practices

We overindulged, skipped our workouts or neglected our prayer time. Now is the time to get back on track. When we clean up our diet, get back to regular exercise and resume our spiritual practices, we quickly get back to feeling like ourselves. Fresh air will do wonders.

5. Maintain Your Schedule Of Recovery

Winter can get in the way of recovery with unpredictable weather. We can’t change a blizzard scheduled to arrive the night of our meeting, but we can do our best to plan. If you know a big storm is coming, try catching another meeting a couple of days in advance to make sure you stay on track with recovery. Pick up the phone and reestablish connections with any program friends you haven’t talked to over the holiday season.

6. Make A Spiritual Plan

While we’re focusing on the typical resolutions like losing weight and paying down debt, it can also be a good time to make some resolutions for our spiritual growth. How would we like to grow in God in the year to come? What spiritual disciplines would we like to establish?

7. Focus On Service

Nothing takes us out of our own bad mood like helping someone else. Look around for opportunities to serve at your meeting, at church or in the community. Pray that God would show you how you can be of service to others and that he would cheer your heart in the process.

8. Be Grateful

No matter how rough the holiday season may have been, if we are alive and in recovery, we have much to be grateful for. As one year is ending and another is beginning, it can be encouraging to look back at the year and count our many blessings. Thank God for His goodness and pray that the year to come would be filled with hope and joy.

Check Out Our 5 Tips for Finding – and Keeping – Hope in Addiction Recovery