How to beat the post-festive season blues

That’s it. After all that build up, Christmas and New Year are over for another year and I’m feeling a bit bereft. While hot cross buns and other Easter paraphernalia are starting to sneak into the supermarkets, I haven’t even taken down the Christmas trees yet (yes, we have two. Just because).

If you’re anything like me and feeling the misery of the post-Christmas abyss, here are some tips on how to cope with these blues.

Get healthy

Hands up if you’re one of the very many who have included getting healthier as part of your New Year’s resolutions.

While you might’ve made this resolution because of peer pressure or wine goggles, it’s not a bad idea to try to honour it. Not only is it actually a darned good promise to make your body for the sake of its health, a good diet and exercise regime will also help mitigate any stress and bad moods associated with the post-Chrissy blues.

Post Christmas blues - salad

Have a tree un-decorating party

According to Christmas tradition dating back to the 4th century, you should take your Christmas tree and decorations down on the eve of the Epiphany, or 12 nights after Christmas (5 or 6 January depending on whether you count 25 December as day one). The Epiphany marks the day that the three wise men visited the baby Jesus. Leaving your decorations up beyond this date is considered bad luck.

Regardless of when you decide to take down your tree, it doesn’t have to be a glum affair. To make tree un-decorating as festive as tree decorating, why not turn it into a party? Throw on some tunes, get some party food going and organise fun competitions like who can successfully toss the baubles back into the correct boxes, or bauble and spoon races (stick to non-fragile decorations for these).

For something a bit quicker and more spectacular, check out this world record holder for the fastest time to un-decorate a tree.

Source: Record Setter, via YouTube

Accentuate the positives

In our rose-tinted memories, we remember all the lovely things about Christmas and forget all the bad stuff. For example:

  • Deciding who to buy presents for, e.g. to include or not include B-grade friends, certain relatives and your boss’ wife.
  • Deciding on what presents to buy them.
  • Actually having to buy them.
  • Battling shopping crowds to buy them.
  • Battling shopping crowds to also buy Christmas food.
  • Battling shopping crowds even when all you want to do is buy a carton of milk.
  • Having to apologise profusely to your poor overworked wallet.
  • Having to endure bad Christmas music.
  • Having to endure good Christmas music that goes bad after high-intensity repetition and horribly butchered renditions by failed reality TV show contestants.
  • Awkward family gatherings with nosy Aunt Sue enquiring about the state of everyone’s love life and your wannabe-eco-warrior niece Sally crying because, even though she spent the last year proselytising that Christmas is over-commercialised murder on the environment and everyone who celebrates it is evil, no one bought her a present. Which brings us to…
  • Disappointing presents (given and received).
  • Eating the equivalent of two months’ worth of meals in one week.
  • Feeling bad having to bin the Christmas ham after a few days because you can’t stand even looking at it anymore.
  • The pressure to do something interesting and fun for New Year’s Eve when all you want to do is curl up in front of the telly and fall asleep by 9am.

Are we having fun yet?

There’s no better way of beating the post-Christmas blues than by celebrating the fact that all of the above are done and dusted for the next 11 months. Enjoy having your sanity (and money) back!

Make the most of the rest of summer

Huge apologies to our Northern hemisphere friends who are experiencing a harsh winter.

Here in Australia, we are lucky that any post-Christmas blues are mitigated by the fact that it’s still summer. So make the most of it with trips to the beach, river or pool, backyard BBQs and lovely evening walks.

Post Christmas blues - beach

Do some volunteer work

Volunteering is a great way to distract yourself from your low mood while at the same time making the world a better place. Ask the local charity stores if they need help sorting through the post-Christmas influx of donations (aka unwanted presents). You could also try animal shelters, who may be dealing with an increased number of unwanted pets.

Remember that there are plenty of other things to look forward to before Christmas rolls around again

You know how we complain about how quickly time flies? Use this thought to your advantage because before you know it, Christmas will come around again (as early as September if you’re lucky). In the meantime, there’ll be other delights to look forward to throughout the year, like birthdays, Easter, Halloween and the kids going back to school after the holidays (admit that you just got a little excited there).