The post-Christmas period can leave many of us feeling down. Back-to-work blues, an empty social calendar, festive weight gain, miserable weather and a dwindling bank balance can all contribute to a general feeling of melancholy. Thankfully, there are many ways to get your spirits back up after the festive period. Here are our tips for beating the post-Christmas blues.
Make a plan
After the excitement of Christmas, going back to a regular, mundane routine is enough to lower anybody’s spirits. A good way to alleviate this feeling of ennui is to create something to look forward to. Depending on your budget and lifestyle, this could be anything from planning a night out to booking a trip away. Whatever you plan, make sure it is something you will really look forward to, then start counting down the days.
Exercise your funny bone
Laughter has been proven to be an extremely effective mood booster; releasing endorphins which instantly raise spirits and give a feeling of wellbeing. To help raise your spirits, grab a funny DVD or book and spend a few hours exercising your laughter muscles.
Brave your fears
If you are feeling listless and uninspired following the Christmas period, there is nothing guaranteed to energize you so much as stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a few risks. Make a commitment to doing one thing a week (or day) that makes you feel scared and takes you out of your comfort zone. Whether it is something small (like starting a conversation with a stranger) or big (like emigrating to another country), conquering your fears is guaranteed to put you in a positive mood.
Although feeling glum is unlikely to put you in the mood to exercise, getting up and active is actually one of the best things you can do. Exercise not only releases mood-boosting endorphins, but if weight gain is one of the things getting you down following Christmas it will help you to quickly shift those excess pounds. Get out in the fresh air for a run, or try a spot of yoga or Tai Chi to help put you in a better frame of mind.
Watch what you eat
While it may be tempting to bury your sorrows under piles of junk food, a healthy diet is actually much more effective at helping you feel good. Some mood-boosting foods to stock up on are those containing B vitamins (which help the brain produce serotonin) such as wholegrains, nuts and marmite, and those containing Omega-3 fatty acids (which can help lift depression), such as oily fish or flaxseeds.
Don’t be SAD
If you think that the darkness and cold weather surrounding the festive season might be contributing to your blues, you may be one of many people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you find that you feel more depressed or lethargic over the autumn and winter months, it may be worth investing in a SAD light box which can help reduce the negative effects caused by the lack of natural light during this season.