You’re surrounded with red and green from basically the end of October through December, and then it hits. The snow. The cold. The lack of colors other than faded gray of the roadway slush and muted browns from the shivering trees. January. Bleh.
After all of the hype and adrenaline, the presents and fancy trimmings, exhaustion and bleakness sets in to encapsulate you in what is commonly referred to as the post-holiday blues. There are few options you have when faced with the change.
You can succumb to the weight of credit card bills, icy fingers, and lack of vitamin D and be upset, anxious and unproductive
You can choose to laugh and say “post-holiday blues who?” and make the most of your post-holiday, indoor time (this includes picking up overtime to pay down those credit cards!)
I would rather choose #2. There was a year when I lived in a 350 sq. ft studio apartment off of an alleyway in Missouri. I was isolated and in a very confined space (especially after it snowed and I couldn’t get out!). That year I chose to make a list of things I wanted to accomplish while my surroundings appeared so lonely and bleak. Namely, I gathered recommendations for books and instead of getting sidetracked with thoughts of missing out on things (really, what was I missing out on? Everyone else was snowed in too), I chose to embrace the time that I had to read for leisure. That winter I went through English and German novels, sci-fi storylines, and biographies. I didn’t have time to be bored when I was escaping to Canterbury hillsides, walking the streets of Munich and anticipating the effects of time travel. My little place and heart were warmed by love stories and familiar tales. When my eyes failed me, I revisited some much-loved movies (Meg Ryan films anyone?), and knitted gifts for friends. That year I also challenged myself to write encouraging notes to people once a week (something I used to enjoy and do regularly that I had fallen out of routine). It honestly was a situation of ‘mind over matter’. I could have easily been upset about a lot of things in my life at that time, however, I had to constantly take my thoughts captive and commit to being present in the moment by making the most of my moments.
This year, one way to beat the post-holiday blues for me is to clean. I’m not waiting until Spring. My closet will get an overhaul. I am going to donate and not hold on to things that I might wear or use. Additionally, I have quite a few things that I am in the throes of planning for, so I will gladly utilize the extra time to take chunks out of those tasks!
I’m going to thank myself later when the weather changes and color bursts forth from the buds of trees again and I will have set myself up well to get out and enjoy the fresh air.
What are some things you do to beat the post-holiday blues?