How Not to Let Gloomy Days Bring You Down

How Not to Let Gloomy Days Bring You Down

Brittney Morgan
Jan 3, 2017

Every year, the holidays come and go, and come January 2nd, everything tends to feel a little more empty than usual. We spend so much of the lead-up to the holidays getting into the spirit, talking about the things we're thankful for, spending time with our loved ones and basking in the magic of the season that when it's all over, it can definitely get you down.

Those post-holiday blues aren't easy to get past—it's never easy to just cheer up when you're feeling that way—but there are some ways you can cope that might help.

Put up new decorations

I always find that taking down my holiday decorations is a little bit of a sad process. As soon as the lights (which always feel a little bit like magic) and the tree come down and the ornaments and wreaths go back into storage, home feels a little bit more empty. Something that can help make things feel fresh and fun and new is to fill up those empty spaces with new decorations—anything that makes you feel bright and hopeful will do. That way, when you look at the spot where your tree was for the last few weeks, you won't see a reminder that the holidays are over—you'll see the symbol of a new start.

Get back into your routine

No matter how you celebrate, the holiday season always throws off your daily routine. If you usually go to the gym often, for example, the busy nature of the holidays tends to mean you can't go as often (if at all). Not to mention, all the parties and social gatherings can throw off your normal sleep schedule and your usual eating routine. After a few weeks of everything being a little off from your norm, it can be really hard to get back to it—and your body can feel the difference, which can affect your mental health, too. Try to shake that sluggish, exhausted feeling by easing back into your usual routine as soon as the holidays are over.

Reach out to friends

Think about it—if you're feeling down and tired after the holidays, your friends and loved ones are probably feeling it too. It's easier said than done, but try not to let that post-holiday bummyness keep you from reaching out. If your friends are feeling the same way, they'll likely appreciate you reaching out to them, and if you can make plans with the people you care about, it might help both of you. Even if you can't make plans, keeping in touch will remind you that you have a support system (and remind them of the same) even when you're feeling down.

(Image credit: June Bhongjan)

Try a new hobby

It's definitely not easy to make plans with friends at winter time, especially after the holidays are over. Again, if you're feeling it, then your friends are probably feeling the post-holiday blues, too—that plus the cold winter weather is not exactly a recipe for a full social calendar. At first, a break from it all might seem nice, but eventually not having plans can be hard to deal with, especially if you're an extrovert. But that doesn't mean you can't still have fun, so look for another way to take up the free time you have—now's the perfect time to learn a new skill or pick up a hobby you've always wanted to try. And if you really crave time around other people, you can sign up for a local class related to your hobby—maybe you'll even make some new friends in the process.

Plan things to look forward to

Sometimes the best part of the holiday season is the lead-up—everywhere you go, decorations are up and holiday music is playing, so you're constantly thinking towards the big celebration in the weeks prior. But once the winter holidays are over, there's not much to look forward to for a while, so give yourself something to be excited about. Resolve to take a trip (whether you fly solo or otherwise) and plan the dates and how to save up for it, or find a concert or a show you really want to go to and buy tickets—whatever you do, make it something with a date you can count down to. Knowing that you're going to take a week's vacation in March or go see one of your favorite bands in February gives you something to get excited about, which will help put you in a better mood.

Keep the winter magic alive

The holidays are one of the best parts of winter, but honestly, the entire season is kind of magical. Cold weather is an excuse to don your coziest clothing everywhere you go, and even when you're freezing, there's something beautiful about those Lorelai Gilmore-esque "I smell snow" moments when it suddenly starts snowing out of nowhere. Plus, few things are better than a night in with a good book, your warmest socks, and a cup of hot cocoa. And those things don't end just because the holidays are over and the New Year is here—you've still got winter for a few more months, so make the most of it by keeping up all your favorite wintery activities. Take yourself ice skating, play in the snow, invite friends over for a movie night—just find little ways to keep the magic alive.

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