Christmas is over, the last light of Hanukkah has extinguished, no more food laden parties are on the calendar, and it is time to return to work. It is not a surprise that one response to this less twinkly and sugary time of year is a big bout of misery, and depression. The psychological explanation is that we are crashing after an intense high, and our bodies are recovering from indulgence and the realization that we must return to work.
A different level of these Post-Holiday Blues exists when you are also grieving significant loss. Missing someone in your life amplifies the depression that often follows the holidays. Each party, family gathering and celebration just underscores the fact that you will never have certain experiences and memories. Families are as sympathetic as they can be; there are just some things that, if you have not experienced them, you will never fully understand what they are like.
As much as Hallmark would have us think only happy holiday thoughts, there is human pain that bright lights won’t erase. A common tactic used by many (myself included) is to isolate ourselves thinking that we can shield our hearts from pain and memories; this usually serves to just make us feel even more alone.
A wealth of information exists on how to combat grief and the blues both during and after the holidays. Find what works for you; whether it is journaling, crying, painting, yelling, or rearranging the furniture. Connect with others as much as you are able, even one person. Take care of yourself; eat well and go for walks. Rejoice in the small victories like taking a shower or putting on pants. Recognize your humanity. Every one of us is here to learn and grow. Some of our lessons truly suck. Changes will not happen overnight, they will happen though.
All my best good luck to you for this New Year !!
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