Denver Lifestyle
Jan 05, 2024 • 4 min read • By: Polly Clover

10 Ways to Beat Post-Holiday Blues and Feel Great Again


How to Beat Post-Holiday Blues and Stress

The holiday season can bring so much joy with holiday shopping, Christmas treats and decor, and getting together with family and friends. It can also bring feelings of sadness and stress, known as post-holiday blues.

Although we believe the holiday season should be filled with happiness, 64% of people feel holiday blues, which can include feelings of depression.

In this article, we’ll discuss what the post-holiday blues are and practical tips for feeling better. Learn how to overcome feeling low or overwhelmed after the holidays so you can feel great again.

What are the post-holiday blues?

Post-holiday blues affect many people after a holiday season and brings about high stress or extreme emotions, according to Brad Brenner, Ph.D. Although the post-holiday blues are short-term, many symptoms are similar to depression, including fatigue, sadness, low mood, and difficulty focusing.

Feeling sad after the holidays is relatively normal, and while this can affect anyone, it’s most common for women, young children, and those who typically struggle with mental health.

Many factors can contribute to feeling sad or stressed during and after the holiday season, including finances, travel, family, and burnout. Getting out of your routine and eating unhealthy foods may also play a role. Fortunately, there are ways to beat the holiday blues.

How to Beat Post-Holiday Blues (10 Helpful Practices)

Holiday blues are the brain’s way of trying to readjust, says Brenner, and you must dedicate time to time to take care of your mind and body to overcome them.

Here are our go-to practices for overcoming stress or sadness to feel better:

  • Schedule time to relax
  • Don’t ignore your emotions
  • Set achievable New Year’s resolutions
  • Do something exciting
  • Focus on gratitude
  • Make healthy choices
  • Learn a new hobby
  • Go outside
  • Make plans with friends and family
  • Be kind to yourself

1. Schedule Time to Relax

Taking time to relax helps your body recharge after a busy or stressful holiday season. 

Whether you’ve had many events and activities or are emotionally tired, schedule time to relax, whether that be a weekend cuddled on the couch or an earlier bedtime until you feel better. You can also book a spa day or create a DIY at-home spa experience to uplevel your relaxation.

couple relaxing at Oakwell Beer Spa to beat post-holiday blues
Oakwell Beer Spa, Denver

2. Don’t Ignore Your Emotions

Research shows that suppressing negative emotions can reduce the experience of positive emotions, so it’s vital to recognize how you’re feeling. Acknowledging your post-holiday blues and how you feel (e.g., exhausted, stressed, sad, etc.) lets you process and overcome these emotions to feel better.

A few ways you can acknowledge and process your emotions is by:

3. Set Achievable New Year’s Resolutions

As we go into a new year, we usually make a list of resolutions. While making a long list of big goals can add unnecessary stress, achievable New Year’s resolutions can offer a positive impact.

When choosing your New Year’s resolutions, pick one to a few you know you want to and can achieve. Your goals should help you feel positive emotions like happiness, fulfillment, and calmness. For example, getting seven hours of sleep nightly, dedicating more time to hobbies, and spending more time with loved ones.

4. Do Something Exciting

When we’re checking off holiday to-do lists, we often forget to have fun. Find a way to enjoy yourself by doing something new. 

Do a quick search to find a list of unique things to do in your city or take a day trip. New adventures, even small ones, can be incredibly rewarding.

5. Focus on Gratitude

People feel low during and after the holidays for many reasons, including financial stress and missing loved ones. During difficult times, it’s easy to focus on the challenges. 

While recognizing struggles can help us face them, gratitude can also help us feel better. You might practice gratitude to beat holiday blues by:

  • Telling people around you why you appreciate them
  • Writing down what you’re grateful for
  • Do something every day that makes you happy
  • Volunteering for a meaningful cause
person journaling to beat post-holiday blues

6. Learn a New Hobby

If you’re someone who loves the holidays, it can hit hard when the joyful season ends. Learning a new hobby is an excellent way to find that joy again. 

This could tie into your New Year’s resolutions, too. Spending time on a hobby also provides a fun way to destress. 

Finding time for a hobby as an adult is often challenging and sometimes feels impossible to think about. Check out this exciting list of 50 low-cost hobbies, many of which you can easily incorporate into your everyday life.

7. Make Healthy Choices

Have you been enjoying lots of delicious holiday foods and drinks or spending your time lounging around watching your favorite Christmas movies? 

Keep enjoying the fun activities, but pair them with healthy choices. A long walk or a healthy meal can help you control your cortisol levels to feel better when the blues are hitting hard.

8. Go Outside

Whether you struggle to cope during or after the holidays, getting outdoors is always a great practice for finding a sense of calmness and happiness. Many studies show how impactful getting outside is for our overall well-being by lowering cortisol levels, boosting the immune system, and improving mental clarity. 

Instead of pushing this to the bottom of your to-do list, tie it into your daily routine. For example, enjoy your morning coffee outside, park farther away from your destination to take a longer walk, or stop at the park in between errands or after work.

woman outside in the snow with ear muffs

9. Make Plans with Friends & Family

Do you find yourself missing the social aspect the holiday season brings? Social connections help us feel better by releasing Oxytocin, the love hormone.

Spend as much time with loved ones as possible by planning dinners with your family, regular phone calls with friends, and fun weekend activities.

10. Be Kind To Yourself

If nothing else, be kind to yourself when beating post-holiday blues. Allow your emotions to flow, and be kind to yourself as you navigate them.

Holiday and winter blues are entirely normal. Instead of beating yourself up over it or not caring for yourself during this time, treat yourself as you would a loved one struggling with sadness or stress.

Stay Connected

Join our free email newsletter and be the first to know about new offers and the latest information.

    You're in! Thanks for signing up!