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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post-Holiday Blues

Caution: Consult a medical professional if you have major depression, a potentially dangerous condition that requires correct diagnosis and treatment. Home remedies should only be used with medical approval. Also, check with your medical professional for prescription drug contraindications, and double check with your pharmacist to be extra sure.

From now until the new year I'm going to write about depression, focusing on a remedy per day. Today's post is about post-holiday letdown and depression. And by depression, I do not mean major depression. I mean something more like the holiday blues.

Previously I talked about not overdoing it and simplification as ways to avoid resulting depression. Today I shift a little to a different aspect of the aftermath of a holiday, the letdown effect.

After all the fun and frivolity, the days, weeks and perhaps even months of preparations, suddenly there's nothing--no excitement, no guests, no planning. It may leave you feeling kind of empty! A little extra planning can remedy this situation.

Plan for this down-time by scheduling some much needed rest or quiet activity. Have a loved one serve you breakfast in bed, spend a day at a spa, or create your own mini-spa at home.

Your mini-spa can be as simple as a tub full of pleasantly scented water or bubblebath, some soft light--candlelight is nice--lovely music, a glass of wine, and a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door! After your relaxing soak, perhaps someone could give you a massage! If you got a "free massage" gift of service coupon from someone, now would be a good time to collect. (Remember to let them know of your plans in advance!)

If you don't want to be home alone, plan on visiting a friend, or meeting them for lunch or dinner at a favorite restaurant. That's sure to pick up your spirits. If your funds are limited, make this a gift request!

Or invite a friend over for dinner and a movie. Perhaps you can make this a gift for someone who could use a break and a post-holiday pick-me-up, and do yourself a favor as well! Limited funds can lead to all kinds of creativity and truly meaningful gifts!

Perhaps you have nobody available to share the day with. In that case, plan a nice dinner for yourself, get a hilarious movie (one that is really funny, not just one that says it is) and treat yourself to a good time. Maybe you can get your local library to plan a craft day for people such as yourself, with simple donated materials (old magazines, holiday and birthday cards, sewing scraps, buttons, whatever) and easy-to-do crafts for beginners.

Whatever seems good to you for the day after, it's helpful to plan ahead. Have a plan B in case plan A falls through. You could even make yourself a jar or box with slips of paper suggesting various fun activities. Then when you feel a bit at loose ends you don't have to think of what to do, just draw out a paper...and if you don't like that one at the moment, put it back and pick another!

Most of all, knowing the day after a big holiday or event can be anti-climactic may keep such a time from taking you for a ride on the downhill slope of the roller coaster of life. Redefine it as downtime, R&R, a time for quiet enjoyment. And enjoy the ride!

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