Ever felt like you no longer have a purpose to serve after the holiday season is over? My mother would often use the term ‘escapism’ to describe a condition wherein people neglect realistic struggles for a life filled with dream like elements. The holidays is the epitome of this surreal world we aim to be a part of. Today’s commercialization of the holidays provides an even steadier foundation to customize your dream state of being. When you’re spending hours figuring out holiday menus, accommodations, vacations, presents and assorted merriment, you blissfully set aside reality. And then, the worst happens - the holiday blues.
But now it’s back, and it’s raging a war in your head. No longer can you find excuses to play holiday music to stay chirpy, or stare at your Christmas decorations to filter out the negativity. There’s a need to transport yourself back to the present and it is accompanied by that awful melancholy you can’t shake off.
How on earth does once find their way back to a peaceful start to life in the new year when there’s virtually nothing but drudgery and the bitter winter air to go back to?
Coping with a strange dip in emotions after the humdrum of the holidays season isn’t easy but I think it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
The biggest trick I use to cast away all that dullness that threatens to creep into my life is keeping myself busy. It also happens to be the primary action that underlies most of the points you’ll find below.
Getting over the end of one vacation isn’t a heavy task when you’re busy planning the next one. Whether it’s a staycation (same city, different accommodation), or a long vacation, start planning the small things now.
Another way to keep yourself busy is to enrol in a group activity at your nearest community centre. You’ll not only learn something new, but also be introduced to a group of individuals with similar interest. Not inspired by what’s around you? Try these online courses instead!
Craftsy caters to creative people with a thirst to create; sewing projects, baked goods, woodwork, jewellery, photography and art are some of the categories to look out for on their website. Enroll, learn from an expert and participate in discussions with fellow craftsy members. They currently have an unlimited membership for $14.99 USD - be sure to check out their website for more details and availability in your country.
Creative Live is similar to Craftsy, but I believe they go a little further by offering content that suits everyone’s requirements. When I say everyone, I really do mean it because they offer courses on everything under the sun! Photography, DJing, copywriting, motivation courses, web designing - you name it, they have it. A specific course will cost you some, but their ‘on-air’ courses are free, and you can schedule reminders based on their future schedules.
This source has a wonderfully long list of free online courses that are offered by various universities across the US Although these aren’t exactly “creative” courses, these are ideal for people who are looking to learn something new about a specific topic.
Passionate about digital marketing or advertising? Learn from the best! I took a few online courses that were created by Google, and I learnt so much! Best part? A lot of these courses are free, and are a great way to step into a new career path.
Love languages, hate the cost of learning a new one? Here’s your chance to change that with Duolingo. A free app or desktop version with 30+ languages for English speakers, and more coming soon for non English speakers. I used it to learn French - that’s another story for another day- and I absolutely loved it. Plus that owl is the cutest dang motivator ever!
If you take one of those photography courses from the previous bullet point, test your newfound skills by taking some amazing photos. Even if you can’t be bothered to take yet another course - like me - edit, fine tune, or jazz up your photos and share them on platforms like Instagram, Tumblr or Flickr. The benefits of this activity include finding beauty in everything (hence the distraction from your crummy mood), the concentration that goes into beautifying an already pretty photo (ditto), and sharing your hard work with people you care about.
While this wasn’t the biggest reason why I started my blog, it certainly seems to be a lovely escape from my recent grumpiness associated with taking down the Christmas tree at home. I love writing, and if you’re like me, you can easily submerge yourself in another world as you write to your hearts content. Result? While your sadness may linger in the background, it wont be occupying a good chunk of your thoughts.
A major part of feeling sad about the holidays ending is the fact that you’re no longer constantly exposed to a group of familiar people. Whether you love spending time with these people or you can’t wait to get away from them, there’s a reason why you’re spending time with them during the holidays. As you’re just getting used to a routine, you suddenly find yourself being dragged away to your former routine. Instead of resigning yourself to a temporary hermit status, spend some time with people in your circle. Make use of your office breaks to keep in touch with your friends/family, or hold a mini get together at your place.
I’ve found that a great way to hang out with people without expending too much effort is through hosting board game parties.
My personal favourites are Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Scrabble.
Traditions are a fun way to celebrate the small things in life. Board games on Friday night, movie night on Tuesdays or even combining your hobbies with good company works wonders for your mood.This is a great place to start if you’re desperate for some inspiration
It’s no surprise that you’re uninspired if you haven’t got a list of things to look forward to after the holidays are over! Make a list of things you want to do - something like a bucket-list - and set timelines. Last year, my husband and I each created a list, and then combined our lists to ensure equal contribution. Some of the items on this wishlist include attending pottery classes, kayaking, skiing and going to an ice hockey game together. Don’t forget to include simple ideas like visiting a local cafe that you’ve never been to before. Since it's a new year, and we're only one week in, feel free to check out my post on how to keep your new year's resolutions.
While these tips should work like a charm for you, don’t ignore the signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) . PLEASE, please check out this link if you believe that you may be suffering from depressive episodes that are seasonally triggered.
If you don’t experience a change in your daily routine, but you feel dull, try investing in lamps that mimic natural light . This is not a sponsored link, but I think there's a nice explanation on this website about light therapy.
Can’t afford light therapy? Find ways to increase your exposure to natural light in your environments - at home or at work. Bring in more plants (or pets) to brighten up your space. Elevate the positive tones in these rooms with colour; avoid colours that worsen a mood.
How have you been beating the holiday blues? Would you add or change anything to the list I’ve mentioned above?
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