10 Things to Help You with the Holiday Aftermath

Couple run through snowy trees with dog Family and friends have gone home. Ill-fitting gifts require trips back to stores. Leftovers are being tossed in the trash. Decorations are deposited back in their bins. It’s time to return to five-day workweeks for the foreseeable future.

The aftermath of the holidays can sometimes lead to the blues. Anticipation and excitement have dissipated. There may be disappointment in things reverting to how they used to be. However, here are 10 things you can do to maintain and generate energy simulating the holidays. No need to wait a few months for the next ones to arrive.

  1. Make plans with others. Don’t let the holidays be the only time you see the people who matter to you. When you say, “Let’s not wait so long next time,” mean it! Reach out to friends and family, and put dates on the calendar so you know you’ll see them soon and you’ll have those times to look forward to.
  2. Take up a new hobby, learn a novel skill, or begin a creative project. Plant seeds that will blossom as a result of your efforts. It’s always nice to have something to be eager to devote your time to.
  3. Plan a getaway. To break up the winter doldrums, arrange some time away. Even a local overnighter can enable you to feel refreshed, renewed, and re-centered.
  4. Spend your gift cards. If you’ve received a gift card or two, go out and buy something special to lift your spirits. Besides, you may lose or forget about them if you don’t.
  5. Move your body. Being active is important in beating the blues. Get outside and go for a walk. Join an exercise class. Start stretching every day (you know you’ve been meaning to!). Go dancing or take up an outdoor winter sport.
  6. Clean up. The holidays can turn your environment upside down, between decorations, moving things around to accommodate guests, or simply being too busy to straighten up. Getting organized and removing clutter may help you refocus and feel more at peace. If it saddens you to put the decorations away, find some small items to alternate as accents that will help you mark each period of time in its own way.
  7. Detoxify. Feeling the effects of too many toasts and holiday desserts? Drink less booze, drink more water, and try to eat healthier overall. Do the things that make you feel invigorated rather than sluggish, bloated, and weighted down. January is a good time to recommit to taking the best possible care of yourself. It’s the perfect occasion to make wellness-check appointments with your doctors and dentist (just having those dates scheduled on your calendar makes you more accountable to your good health).
  8. Join a club. Meet new people based on an interest you have. If you don’t know where to begin, check out Meetup.com, plug in your zip code, and see what kinds of groups exist in your area.
  9. Begin a spiritual practice. Learn more about religion, take up prayer, begin meditation, or simply choose to practice gratitude on a regular basis. Discover a new means of realizing peace within yourself.
  10. Choose to embrace the year ahead. Look forward. You can’t drive your car if you’re solely focused on the rearview mirror. Pledge to not stay stuck in what once was. Imagine in great detail what you want the year to bring you, and think about what action steps you can take to make those things happen.

If you’re relieved the holidays are over, take some time to recoup and recharge, and then enjoy plugging back into your regular routine.

© Copyright 2017 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Laurie Leinwand, MA, LPC, GoodTherapy.org Topic Expert

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Dean

    January 2nd, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    I am glad to see this not because I am glad that other people feel this sort of let down after the holidays like I do, but it is nice to know that you have a little company with the things that you are feeling. I always thought that it was strange for me to feel so let down after the Christmas and new year seasons because it had been such a time of happiness, how could I possibly be feeling let down after that? But I always do so it is good to have a list of things that I can do for myself to sort of help combat some of that.

  • Laurie Leinwand

    January 4th, 2017 at 4:43 AM

    Dean, you are not alone. :)

  • ardeth

    January 3rd, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    ooohhh spending the gift cards especially with all of the good sales is always fun!

  • Laurie Leinwand

    January 4th, 2017 at 4:44 AM

    Ardeth, enjoy!

  • Cecil

    January 4th, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Clean up
    clean out
    and get started on the new year!

  • Laurie Leinwand

    January 6th, 2017 at 5:02 PM


  • Theresa S

    January 6th, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    I have always wanted to learn how to knit so I have been watching some you tube videos and hopefully will be able to pick it up very quickly. I am not looking to be a master, just to give me something new to do and it is pretty mindless I would think so not anything that I have to really think about too much. Looking forward to making some progress.

  • Laurie Leinwand

    January 6th, 2017 at 5:04 PM

    That’s great Theresa – I hope you enjoy it!

  • sara

    January 7th, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    Even though I haven’t started quite yet I have made up my mind that 2017 is the year that I want to take my health and that of my family more seriously. I want all of us to try to get in better shape and a big part of that is going to start with me encouraging more exercise in the house and outside the house as well as helping with cooking healthier foods. It won’t be easy and I am sure that I am going to face some opposition but I know that we have to do it if we all want to be around for each other for a long time.
    healthy choices start in the younger years so I think that if I can get my kids to do this now then it won’t be so difficult for them like it always has been for me.

  • Laurie Leinwand

    January 11th, 2017 at 5:58 AM

    Sara, I wish you much luck with your commitment to good health! One step at a time. Take note of any and all progress you make along the way.

  • penn

    January 9th, 2017 at 4:44 AM

    I have started a new book club so that’s exciting for me. I’m usually a bit of a recluse so this is pushing me ou of my comfort zone for sure,

  • Laurie Leinwand

    January 11th, 2017 at 6:02 AM

    I love going to my monthly book club! Penn, it will keep you reading and will hopefully get you out among people you enjoy and with whom you share a common interest. Good for you for giving yourself that little push. Hope you love yours too!

  • Ryley

    January 10th, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Believe me, if I had any money left over I would be happy for a little get away.

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