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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The After-christmas Blues. Festive Depression

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The post-Christmas season can leave many of us feeling mentally depressed. Most of the activities we engage in during the festive period may tell on us physically and mentally once the period is over and we may experience mild or deep depression if you are not careful.

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Fortunately, there are many things we can do to bring life back to our spirits, hence, improving our moods to better help our mental state. The following steps are ways of fighting Post-Christmas depression.

1. Have a plan

Most times, depression may seep in due to the fact that we don’t have anything to look forward to. We only have plans for the Christmas festivities and forget life continues way after the period is over.

Going back to our normal daily routine after the season is enough to dampen our mood and one great way of changing that is to have something to look forward to.

It all depends on your budgets and your expectations as well as your lifestyle. It could be a small party with friends or a quick trip. Anything you plan to do after everyone’s shouted “Happy new year.”

The aim is, so that transition from the Christmas into the New year celebration doesn’t grind into a sudden halt.

2. Exercise

The release of endorphin has been proven to boost one’s mood tremendously. One easy way to get the show on the road is through laughter, and it’s recommended for anyone and everyone.

Laughter as an effective mood booster can help improve the mood and erase traces of depression. Go for comedy shows, download comedy skits, the cinema is also an excellent place to unwind by seeing comedies great enough to crack your ribs. Laugh your depression away.

3. Stay active

It’s difficult finding enough motivation to do anything when you get moody. You practically just enjoy the feel of staying indoors, away from people. However, this isn’t healthy, and it does more harm than good.

What I’d suggest though, is for you to get up and get active. You could start with a long walk, learn to play an instrument, register at a gym.

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If you are interested in learning how to fight, you could learn karate or Ju Jitsu. You could start slow by going hiking, swimming or bicycle riding. Anything to keep the blood flowing amigo.

Don’t just lay there like a zombie. It would do you no good. Do something. I personally want to work on my muscles and grow some abs by January.

4. No stress-eating

It may be tempting sinking your teeth into junk food, savouring the juicy sweetness and slurping away the sugary tastes in your mouth but it is very unhealthy.

Maintaining a healthy diet is a very effective way of improving your mood as it helps you keep in shape without any side effects.

Foods rich in vitamin B and Omega-3 fatty acids are great options for things you can consume to improve your mood. Some examples would include nuts, grains, and oily fishes. You are what you eat.

5. Stay brave

If you are feeling uninspired and uninterested following the Christmas period, it is imperative that you step out of your comfort zone by taking a few risks.

Doing that alone is enough to boost your mood. Commit yourself to do at least one thing a week that keeps the blood pumping and scares you enough to want to do some more.

You could start by talking to a stranger or a ride in the water slide. Bungee jumping is also a great option; I’d equally recommend a roller coaster ride.

Just do something you wouldn’t do on a typical day — something outside the box. It could be facing one of your phobias.

Mine was aquaphobia, and I made sure to overcome it by learning to swim. Facing your fears is one sure way to conquering your fears and putting you in a positive mood.

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6. Perk up your life socially

Socialising with other individuals can significantly help boost your mood, but you can’t expect to be invited over just when depression sets in.

It’s not like there is an alarm that goes off when your mood is down. This means that you’re going to have to put in personal efforts in helping you feel better by being proactive.

Call up an old friend or relative, visit the park, go for musically shows, take a long drive to meet old school buddies, meet new people, develop new hobbies. These and so many more are things you can do to help improve your mood.

7. Practice selflessness

Most people often get fixated on their moods especially when then they are down. The depression wears down on them, and they spend more time dwelling on the experience of being depressed than trying to get out of it.

One good way to snapping out of this destructive habit is to focus on others. This is such an excellent way to distract yourself from getting sucked into what may seem like a normal phase in your life but isn’t.

Taking some time out to do some volunteer works, visiting the orphanage, doing something for the society, simple acts of kindness ranging from being a listening ear to people’s problems to actually solving emotional and physical issues can help boost your mood considerably.

This won’t only allow you to help people; it also gives you a positive approach to improving yourself.

8. Don’t get SAD

The darkness that overwhelms many of us during festive periods that contributes to the after-Christmas blues we experience can be linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that many of us suffer from.

The SAD light box is a good alternative if you experience a feeling of depression or lethargy, especially during autumn and winter months. The box helps in reducing the negative effects caused by natural lights or the period of harmattan during this season.

9. Watch how you spend

In the quest of celebrating Christmas, most people end up exhausting their finances and then regret how much they’ve spent.

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This is one primary reason why people experience post-Christmas blues because of how broke they didn’t expect to get due to the fact that they failed to put their finances in order.

Rather than orchestrating your own misfortune, it’s not too late to sit and plan how you spend your money. Rule out what’s not essential and only go for what’s necessary.

It’s best you set a budget to what you can afford. Don’t overwork your pocket. Ensure your spending is within your budget and everything should be fine.

10. Recognise the need to change

If thinking about going back to your regular routine scares you, then perhaps it’s actually a good sign. Sometimes, most of what we are used to contributes to how depressed we get and the only way to change it is by trying something new.

The thought of going back to work after the holiday can be somewhat depressing, but if this causes an extreme feeling of sadness then perhaps the need to change your job is the next best option. Or maybe, a change in lifestyle, friends or partner. Other factors could be involved.

Consider the factors that contribute to your feeling of melancholy and think of alternatives to changing them. You can’t start the new-year feeling down the way you feel the year before.

Work towards being better than you are. If you are already happy, work towards being happier. There are no limits to happiness. Have a lovely celebration people. Cheers

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.
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