How to Fight After-Christmas Blues

A few nights ago as I was in the kitchen by myself–the last of our guests had just left our home–I was hand-washing the dishes that didn’t fit into the dishwasher and a wave of sadness came over me.

Christmas was over.

When you think about all the anticipation and preparation that takes place in the weeks leading up to Christmas–probably more for women than men–when it’s all over, I’ve found that two things happen. A sigh of relief and a “let-down” feeling.

The after-Christmas blues.

This year feels different. I’m embracing the fact that my kids are getting older, and I’m fighting the blues with a healthier approach. Thankful for the gift of each day, for the gift of my family and friends, I’ve found there are things I can do to keep from falling into a rut of after-party blues.

Don’t forget to hug and kiss the ones you love!

Looking ahead, with JOY in my heart:

1. Start the morning off by reading something inspirational. Something that gets your mind off of yourself and on to others. We really are created not just to get joy, but to give it.

2. Plan another party or dinner in your home. It may be a NYE dinner, or a get-together in January. If you love to have people in your home, it’s a good thing to look ahead and keep the excitement and anticipation and outreach going.

3. Keep exercising, even if it’s just a walk every day. Exercise during the holidays is essential, as it creates physical energy, clears the mind, and flushes out toxic emotions. Try it consistently for 5 days and see if you feel a difference.

4. Clean or tidy up your house. It may be too soon to take your Christmas decorations down – or maybe not. I particularly like to get things back in order right after Christmas. As I put away, I freshen up the wood, vacuum under the furniture, fluff the pillows, bring out a new candle.

5. Take old stuff to Good Will. There’s a tradition for New Year’s in many cultures, symbolic of getting rid of the old (and making room for new). I have 2 large boxes ready to go to Good Will this week. It feels good to purge and make yourself get rid of things you really don’t need anymore.

6. Clean the yard, patios, or work on a winter project. Getting in the outdoors, even if only an hour a day, will give a new mind set. Not only are you getting an outdoor chore done, you’re feeling a sense of accomplishment (and it’s good for the physical well being).

7. Hunker down, read good books, watch movies, curl up by the fire, take naps, don’t fight the long winter days and nights. It’s a hibernating time – time to catch up on sleep and rest.

8. Start a new project. Our neighbor tore out their back patio area and gave us the concrete, so we’re slowly building new beds in the back side yard. It’s free, it’s improving our yard, and again, manual labor is good for the soul.

9. Change your diet. After so much good food, today is the day to do a juice fast. Time to get the sugar and rich foods out of your system and replace them with vitamins and minerals.

10. Keep busy. The best thing you can do for yourself is to do something for others. Don’t dwell on disappointments from the holidays but start anew with a fresh outlook. Look around yourself and see what condition those around you are in. It could be your neighbor that needs help, or an elderly friend.

Did I mention, hug and kiss the ones you love? (wink-wink)

Because I’m all about hospitality, invite your friends over for hot chocolate and conversation. Don’t keep to yourself or you’ll find the dark shadows of depression creeping up on you.

How about making a meal for another family, or better yet, extending an invitation for others to join you for a post-holiday meal.

It feels good to give. It’s what we’re made for.

Do you struggle with after-Christmas blues?

   

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39 Responses to “How to Fight After-Christmas Blues”

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    Cassie | Bake Your Day — December 28, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    This is beautiful. You have such a stunning family. Great tips!

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    Shannon — December 28, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    Oh, this couldn’t have come at a better time. I was sick over Christmas and my family has all fallen ill behind me. Not my favorite Christmas in a very long time. I was hit with the worst mood on Boxing Day. I hate that I acted like I did to my husband and girls. I’m trying to pull out of it before it consumes our entire winter break and these tips give me something concrete to follow. Thank you.

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:35 am

      Shannon, every day is a new day! I’m always thankful for that. Happy New Year!

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    Aggie — December 28, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    Wonderful post friend, something I struggle with every year! Everything you wrote I know helps & works. I’ve been skipping my runs, need to make sure I’m walking at least. Also, focusing on others really is the key to pure joy.
    Gosh I wish you lived closer!

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:36 am

      Same, Aggie, FL and OR are too far a part! :) Exercise is so important during the holidays. It changes our outlook and gives us more energy, for sure! :)

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    Tara G. — December 28, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    Ha! I already told you my holiday struggle! :) The roads were good enough to get out on today, so I went shopping alone for a while and getting a good deal lent a rather perky feeling! And I’ve got some sales in the works from Craig’s List and elsewhere- purging is so fantastic!

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:37 am

      Tara, can’t wait to hear more about your sales! And yes, already took 2 boxes to Good Will this week. :)

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    Angie — December 28, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    Thanks so much for writing about this! I go through this every year, for Thanksgiving, it’s the Sunday after because the sales keep me busy, and it’s the 2 days following Christmas. I don’t even want to get out of bed to do anything. These are great tips and reminders of how to get back on track.

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:40 am

      Angie, staying in bed (or lounging for a day) is a good thing. Right? :) But yes, we need to get back on track. Happy New Year to you!

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    Lori H — December 28, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    Great ideas, Sandy! Thanks for sharing.

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    Carrie — December 28, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    This is great! I love these ideas, especially getting outdoors for a little walk and the Goodwill donations. Hoping to do some of that around here. :) Happy New Year, Sandy!!

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:41 am

      And the same to you, Carrie! :)

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    Heather at FarmgirlGourmet — December 28, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    So true!! I am with you my dear. Trying my best to stay positive and look forward to a beautiful new year. One thing I know is that I am grateful for you. Happy holidays and (almost) New Year.

    xo!
    Heather

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:41 am

      Happy New Year, Heather! Hope to see you in 2013!

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    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — December 28, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    Such great ideas to stay motivated and positive! Thanks Sandy!

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    Carol D — December 28, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

    How do you do your juice fast? Would love to try it.

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    Kim | At Home With Kim — December 28, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    I strive EVERY year to keep Jesus as the focus of the month. And though I did better, December still felt overwhelming…. the extra busyness of the holiday coupled with life happening. I LOVE this post because I AM sad Christmas is over. We made sure to have everything stop the weekend before Christmas and just be and enjoy. And it’s been WONDERFUL. And now? It’s over! This post hits the spot. :) Thanks Friend!!!

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:46 am

      Hi, Kim. I like what you said about stopping everything the week of Christmas and just “enjoying.” I’ve learned to do more of that myself. It’s over, but on to new/good things in 2013! Happy New Year!

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    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — December 28, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

    These words are so good for my mind. I recognize the let-down each year, as Christmas comes to an end. And the let-down is heavier when the family is sick, as we’re dealing with right now. I can feel the warmth and caring in your words. Thank you. xo

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:48 am

      Hi, Brenda. I’ve had years of disappointment, too. For sure sick kids, I remember the first Christmas after my mom had passed away, and other losses. But every day is new and gives us HOPE. I’ve been thinking about you and your sick family!! :( Love and prayers are coming your way! :)

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    Glory/ Glorious Treats — December 28, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    Wonderful post, thank you! I felt the after Christmas blues hit hard this year on Christmas night. It is a sudden let down when all the things you’ve been planning, looking forward to, and stressing over are all over… and only the mess is left! Thanks again for the uplifting and practical post! <3

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:52 am

      I’ve been there, too. How do you deal with the after-mess? This year I seemed to be a bit more organized and thought ahead as to how I could eliminate some of it … and have learned it’s okay to ask for help from others! :)

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    Darla — December 29, 2012 @ 4:32 am

    I’m in the Relieved its Over camp more than the Blues camp but there are other days and times of the year that your wonderful suggestions will come in handy. I think we all have ups and downs and knowing we can help ourselves in the dawn times is important.

    Darla

    • Sandy replied: — December 29th, 2012 @ 6:52 am

      Great advice, Darla. Happy New Year, friend!

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    Amy — December 29, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    Always love your smart advice and these are perfect. I always hit a wall after the holidays.

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    Debbie — December 29, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    I can totally relate to this. I like your ideas to help to combat these blues!

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    Myrna — December 29, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    I’ve done surprisingly well post-Christmas thus far—not usual for me.
    I indulged in a good cry after Jon and Crystal drove away. Reclaiming the “territory” in the house is calming. The constant clutter of 5+ people for 5 days in a smallish house wear on me. But I’ve just been “picking up” not really cleaning yet.
    I’ve just been resting (still in PJ’s today!) and enjoying the thankfulness and satisfaction I feel for the time well spent with my Dearest Ones. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll feel up to taking the tree down, and getting on track to make good use of my last week off.
    We have no NYE plans—too tired to think about it today.
    I did the purging/donating and closet organizing before Christmas :-)
    Love you Sandy!

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    Jill — December 29, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    Your tips are great!
    I celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Christmas Eve and Day are like when guest arrive at a party that has been planned and prepped for a month. The next 11days is the party itsel! No more prepping ..just enjoying. As each day passes, like each hour of a party I find myself relaxing and enjoying the time more. And like the end of a party when a few friends still linger and talk, so is the final days of Christmas for me.

    Gosh…if Christmas was just one day it would feel like I had served up a huge dinner then rushed my guests out the door as soon as dessert was finished!

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    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — December 29, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    We celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas so it is definitely a little sad when December comes to an end. I love this post and all of the tips. Ironically enough, I am planning a small wine and cheese get together in a few weeks and I think it will be just the thing to keep me excited about January! Happy New Year friend!!

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    KIRSTIN — December 29, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    Great post Sandy! And I love your pointers. I wound up sick with a chest cold Tuesday morning….so my week has been very laid back. While I haven’t so much fought the after Christmas blues, I did fight the before Christmas blues of missing my mom which I’m sure will always happen….more sweet sadness though. And while I haven’t so much fought the after christmas blues, I do need to incorporate some of your pointers in to my everyday life. While I was planning on waiting till next week to take down decor. we took most down today.

    Have a great New Year.

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    JulieD — December 30, 2012 @ 12:25 am

    Love all of your tips, we have to fight the holiday blues every year. xoxo and happy new year to you!!

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    Kim in MD — December 30, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    I have suffered from the after Christmas blues. I love your tips for warding them off and staying positive, Sandy! Wishing you and your beautiful family a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

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    Shaina — December 30, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    What a great reminder for this time of year, Sandy!

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    Tara @ Unsophisticook — December 31, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    Great ideas, Sandy — we’re doing many of these things too!

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    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — December 31, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    Great tips and love all the family pictures. :) Happy New Year sweet friend. :)

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    marly — December 31, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

    Beautifully written…and such an important thing to remember. The let-down after the holidays can be tough. Thanks for these tips to get through!

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    Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D — January 2, 2013 @ 9:33 am

    Yeah, I’m having a bit of the blues.

    It’s not too bad. There are a couple of blogs that are very inspiring which I read in the morning. They set the mood for my day. I’m also beginning a new series, Low, Slow and So Worth It – about saving money on inexpensive cuts and focusing on braising, roasting and slow-cooking. It was something I planned last year – but we didn’t get the usual cold Winter last year. This year, I’m doing it no matter what. And, it’s been really energizing having those plans come to life. So that’s a good thing :) (And, it helps our budget, too.)

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