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Holiday time is here again! A time for joy, laughter, and gathering with family and friends. For some though, the holidays - or post holidays - can bring on an unexpected case of the blues. According to the National Mental Health Association, reasons for feeling blue around or after the holidays range from fatigue to financial limitations to tensions in personal relationships.
Feeling drained after the holidays is actually more common than one may think. Here's a few ways that you can beat the post holiday blues!
It's important to remember that these feelings are not only temporary, but they are normal. Recognize them for what they are - a form of balancing out and returning to equilibrium. The holidays can be a relaxing break from your normal routine and often present opportunities to unwind and enjoy yourself. When you return to your normal routine, it can be a bummer. Understanding the why's for feeling low after the excitement of a holiday is the first step toward combating those feelings.
If you struggle with jet lag from traveling, light therapy can actually be used to help with those feelings. The purpose is to adjust to the timing of light and dark at your new destination. If you're traveling westward, get plenty of exposure to sunlight in the early morning and avoid light exposure in the afternoon and early evening. The opposite would be for eastbound flights.
If you find that you're having trouble adjusting to your new time zone, or having difficulty sleeping, talk to your doctor about it. He or she may be able to help with some prescription medication, such as the natural hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is sometimes used before bedtime to enhance sleep and help reset your biological clock. Another natural tip to help you return to normal sleeping patterns, is to avoid heavy meals before bedtime, as they may disrupt sleep.
Many people associate hydration with the summertime and heat, but in reality, you are more likely to become dehydrated during the wintertime - particularly over the holidays. This is because flying, eating salty foods, straying away from your normal eating habits, drinking alcohol, and even just being in the heat can contribute to dehydration. Be sure to get at least 2 liters of water per day, or more if you need it. Though your circadian rhythm may not be disrupted, tiredness, lack of energy, and headaches are common symptoms of dehydration.
As tempting as it may be to jump back into your routine, it's important to give yourself a little time to settle back in to it when your arrive home. You need to ease yourself back in to your reality. For example, taking that midnight flight back home when you have to be back to work at 8am may not be the best idea.
While the holidays are a time to indulge in many different foods, drinks, and treats, you should return to your healthy habits as soon as possible when you return home. Take a break from drinking alcohol, cut back on the caffeine, and begin to get back into the groove of making healthy, homemade food.
Scheduling some me time after a holiday is important. Do small, nice, little things for yourself when you get back. Go for a massage, a spa day, pamper yourself. Having something nice planned that's just for you can help ease the transition of coming back home to work, school, and chores.
It is often quite tempting to book another getaway immediately after returning home from one. Holidays and vacations do wonders to improve our mood, and can also become an escape from reality. They often offer short lived comfort and many times, that's what people long for. While having something to look forward to is great, don't forget about the goodness of the present. Being kind to yourself is also about being present to how you are feeling by acknowledging it.
Photos are an amazing way to capture memories and they are definitely encouraged. But, if we focus too much on them, they can create a longing to go back to that state of bliss and miss the joy of the present. In today's world, it's increasingly more difficult to disconnect from reality with the power of social media. Take a break if you have to. If your friends are on vacation, or are still away for the holidays and are posting endless pictures, don't look at them if they make you feel worse about being home. Unplug from social media to truly focus on you and how you can make yourself happier in your present situation.
Just because you've returned home, doesn't mean the holidays have to end. They can be used to make positive changes in your life. You can take what you enjoyed and see if there's a way to incorporate it in any way into your daily life. For instance, let go of things that aren't important, necessary, or don't serve you well anymore. Focus on adding things into your daily life that you did while away, such as eating different food, or making time for exercise.
After spending time together with your loved ones, whom you may not see too often, it's only normal to miss the time shared with them. Call them more often. Make frequent, shorter trips to see them. With technology, it's also possible to still see them without physically being there. Make more time for them and watch your life improve.
If you're struggling with a lack of energy that's still bringing you down, you might want to consider taking natural supplements that include many B vitamins and natural energy. Some supplements will give you the extra boost your need to continue with your daily life, without feeling exhausted.
These are just a few of the ways to bounce back after an exciting holiday season. Remember that your feelings are valid and normal, but also remember to speak with your doctor if your feelings persist, no matter what you try. If your holiday blues show no sign of letting up or become worse, it might be a sign of depression. Depression can rear its ugly head at any point in your life and it's okay to speak with a medical professional about it.
As challenging as it may be, don't focus on the after effects of the holidays. Focus on the present. Look forward to the upcoming time spent with family or friends and take every minute for what it's worth. From all of us at Mountainside Medical Equipment, we wish you a Happy, Healthy, and Safe Holiday season!