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How I Cope With Post-Holiday Depression

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If you're like me, taking down the Christmas tree and all the decorations can feel a little disheartening. These tips help me cope.


Do You Ever Feel Sad When Christmas is Over?

I really look forward to the Christmas season every year. If you're like me, this is a time to be with family and friends and enjoy some of the best things life has to offer: holiday lights, good food, a beautiful Christmas tree, holiday decorations, baking goodies, Christmas caroling, perhaps a candlelight service at church or a Christmas tea with your ladies' Bible study, or maybe a nativity scene in your front yard or a Christmas play. These things are so unique to this time of year, and it's something fun and meaningful to look forward to all year long.

So I guess, if you really think about it, it's only natural that one might feel a little bummed, perhaps even depressed, once this season is over. If you're like me, taking down the Christmas tree and all the decorations can feel a little disheartening. It leaves me wondering, "What's next? What do I have to look forward to now?" Of course there's always New Year's Eve, but if you're like me and you have kids, getting out to a New Year's Eve party is not as easy as it once was, and neither is staying up until midnight!

Keep the Decorations Up, If Possible, Until the New Year

One thing that I think really helps ease the sadness of Christmas being over is to keep the holiday decor up until the New Year, if you can. This year, we had to take down our tree right away, because it just so happened that we got it the day after Thanksgiving and it was getting a little -- shall we say -- crispy. However, we usually try to leave our Christmas tree up for as long as possible after the holiday is over, so we can still enjoy the spirit of the season.

The year my son was born, we kept Christmas lights up on our balcony for a long time after the day had passed, simply because he loved looking at the lights (as all newborns invariably seem to!). So, if possible, keep your holiday decorations up so you can keep the joy of Christmas alive for a little while longer. Then, by the time the New Year rolls around, you'll most likely be more than ready to move on and take everything down.

Keep Listening to Christmas Music

I love listening to Christmas music on my iHeart Radio app on my phone. I also love listening to my Christmas CD's in my car, or on the radio. I don't stop listening to Christmas songs on the day after Christmas, because I love it so much and I like to make the season last. So, if you're like me and you don't want to stop listening to your beloved Christmas songs, then ... don't! Who says you have to, anyway? Really, you can listen to Christmas music anytime of the year (I know I do sometimes!)

Make a List of Things to Look Forward To

I know it sometimes doesn't seem like we have much on the horizon, but if you really brainstorm, there is always something exciting or happy to look forward to. This year, my hubby took the tree down the day after Christmas because it was a crispy fire hazard—and I really couldn't think of much to look forward to. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have so much to be grateful for and so many wonderful things ahead of me. I had forgotten (momentarily) that my anniversary is on December 29th. So I have my anniversary with my hubby to look forward to, and that's definitely something special! I also have many years of memories to look forward to with my two sons, as I watch them grow year after year. Who knows what blessings may await us in 2017! So really, even though the bright lights and fun times of the Christmas season are drawing to a close, there is still so much to be thankful for if we take the time to focus our minds on what's true!

Make Plans with Friends or Family

For some reason, the end of the Christmas season can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. A fun time with family now seems to be ending. Days off from work are over, and everyone is going back to the "daily grind." That's why it's important to make plans to connect with friends and family again in the future. Today I made plans to have a waffle breakfast with a friend next week. I also made plans to meet up at the park with a neighbor soon. I didn't get to be with my parents or brothers this year for Christmas, but I had a really nice time with my in-laws. Still, we made plans to see my side of the family next year for Christmas. Making plans sets your mind on the future, and gives you something else to be excited about. Knowing that Christmas is over but that you'll still have fun soon interacting with family or friends, makes it easier to bear the ending of the season.

Think about Christmas Next Year

The nice thing about this wonderful holiday is that it will be back around next year. In just 11 short months, it will be Christmas once more! So think about what you'd like to do next year that you may not have gotten to do this year. Instead of thinking of it as a negative thing, plan to make the necessary changes so that you can do it next time.

For example, I plan to be more diligent in 2017 about saving up money in a Christmas fund. This fund will allow me to comfortably purchase gifts for my friends and family—and also have a little extra to do some fun activities with my family. If I want to buy us all matching pajamas, I'll be able to do that using some of the money from our Christmas fund. If I need cash to buy ingredients so we can bake for all the neighbors, I'll get it from, you guessed it, the Christmas fund! Next year I want to bake more, see more lights with my kids, and go to a candlelight service. Thinking about next Christmas and all the fun we're going to have makes me so joyful and excited. I can't wait!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Phil on December 29, 2019:

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Why don’t we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, which actually starts on Christmas Day? Why are some so driven to take it all down so soon after the day of? After Christmas shopping for everyone through whenever we can all get to opening gifts together , I wish to just relax and enjoy the happy looking stuff. It’s a counter to my semi-melancholic self.

Nicole K (author) on April 29, 2017:

Mike, oh my goodness, your house sounds absolutely amazing at Christmas! Wow! You really go all out! I was laughing when you said you keep a snowman up until the end of March! That really is holding on for a bit, there! It's such a wonderful time, though. Why not make that special season last? Thanks for your comment!

Nicole K (author) on March 06, 2017:

Ed, thank you for your comment, and thank you so much for your service to our country! Yes, Christmas is definitely a wonderful time to remember all God did for us when He sent His one and only Son to be our Savior! I'm really glad some of the ideas here gave you some hope and encouragement! Be blessed.

Mike on January 10, 2017:

I love love love Christmas......when we lived in NY I always used to dress up as Santa for the Christmas parties my wife and I would have and we always had a great time. Now we moved to Maryland but the Christmas spirit moved with us as we have a daughter in college so there isn't the $500 to throw on a Christmas party anymore but it doesn't stop me from decorating. The tree is up and the windows are garlanded as is the bannisters and the fireplace with stockings hung by the chimney....with care. ;) I put up sketches and paintings of Santa I have bought through out the year and always line the tree with pointsetta's as all my friends think my house looks like a Christmas wonderland....and it does. Well when Christmas passes I keep all my decorations up until January 6th (Little Christmas) and then I take them down thinking what I will do next year to top this one....and I always find a way to do just that. Remember, Christmas has a lot to do with the heart....the love of the decorations, the lights and of course the Baby plan your next Christmas in your mind'll have 11 months to pull it off and as a side note....I keep a snowman up until the end of March.......yeah I hold on a little, but thyen I'm a big kid anyway! God Bless my friends!

Ed on January 02, 2017:

As an adult, the anticipation of Christmas causes me to stumble upon the Christmas Season and then "poof"'s gone. I yearn for the joy and peace felt during Christmas past especially during my childhood. I look forward to this holiday all year and now it's over....I have to better plan for the Christmas Season next year so that I can feel closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and experience the joy and peace that will maintain my wellbeing during the New Year. I had the privilege of spending 10 years on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan in support of US and Coalition War Fighters and I missed several Christmas Holidays at home. I never want to take Christmas for granted since it has always meant so much. Great ideas for next year that really have given me hope!

Nicole K (author) on December 29, 2016:

I'm glad it uplifted you! Thanks for commenting :)

janet on December 29, 2016:

Your article lifted my spirits. Yes, there is always something good to look forward to.

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