How to Combat Post-Christmas Blues
After weeks of festive fun, it’s inevitable that many of us will feel a shift in mood come Boxing Day. If that sounds familiar, it might help to realise that you’re not alone. Although more evidence is needed, some experts attribute these feelings of low mood to a chemical change in the brain because of the sudden withdrawal of adrenaline that follows a big social event, like a family gathering. Although the party might be over (until New Year’s Eve at least), there are plenty of ways you can ward off the post-Christmas blues.
For many of us, a long, brisk walk is par the course for Boxing Day, but if it’s not, do your best to factor it in. Studies have shown that even 20 minutes of physical activity outdoors is enough to reap huge benefits, from strengthening our connection to nature and helping to foster a more positive mindset to reducing feelings of fatigue and anxiety. Better still, roping family or friends into your walk will go one further and could help you to stick to a long-term exercise plan as research has shown that exercise is socially contagious.
Make some plans
After all the excitement of Christmas, it’s easy to feel discombobulated, particularly in the week between Christmas and new year. To combat feelings of listlessness, remind yourself that these feelings are only temporary and give yourself something to look forward to by making plans for the near future. Dependent on your budget and time, it could be anything from booking a holiday to planning a day out with friends.
Declutter your space
Taking the opportunity to have a clear out of your possessions post-Christmas is a great way to distract yourself from feeling low and instead can help you feel positive and productive. If you can, donate some of what you no longer want to charity. Studies have shown that performing acts of kindness boosts oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood.