Those Post-Holiday Blues

Well, here we are. It’s the beginning of the new year and the holidays are over. Now it’s time to pay off those credit cards (ahh, shit), clean up all the holiday clutter (all of a sudden the red and green decor is the worst), and get life back to normal.

As I’m sitting here thinking about this past week (past month, really), I gotta say…

I’m sad.

Ever since the day after Thanksgiving, I’ve been all in. All in on shopping. All in on decorating. All in on Christmas music. It’s the one time of year when I let myself become a little neurotic (my husband might say a lot neurotic), and every basic rule I live by pretty much goes out the window. It’s fun, aaaaand maybe even a little addicting. So when the clock strikes 12 on December 26th, I can almost always guarantee that I’m going to start feeling some post-holiday blues.

I don’t know what it’s like for most people, but for me the holidays have gone one of two ways. They’ve either been beautiful and magical or ugly and dysfunctional. Talk about extremes, right? But no matter which way the pendulum has swung, when it’s all said and done, I end up feeling this same sadness. A sadness that either comes because it’s over, or a sadness that comes because I’m disappointed that something didn’t go the way I wanted.

Even with this year’s holiday that was pretty magical (yesss!), it still came with a few disappointments. Nothing’s perfect after all.

For starters, I was pretty disappointed that I had bought these great matching Christmas pajamas for my boys, which I was planning on taking a picture of on Christmas morning. Except for the first time ever they both happened to wake up wet from pull-up/diaper leaks. So my 3 year old wore Halloween pajamas and the baby wore pajamas that were too small for his chunky legs.

And then of course I was pretty disappointed that I had prepped an entire Christmas dinner similar to one my mom used to make only to be unable to eat it because I had devoured too much spinach dip (as in, an embarrassing amount). Instead, I was curled up in the fetal position on the couch for a good hour and a half, telling myself not to worry about the fact that we weren’t all sitting down around a beautifully set table, reflecting on the magic of the day.

Let me just iterate, I know these disappointments are small potatoes (or “potatas” as my grandmother used to say), so I’m really not complaining too much. But nevertheless, even with these small disappointments, I still closed out the day feeling sad. It’s just what I do.

If any of this sounds familiar for you too, there are actually a few things that I’ve found helpful in turning that post-holiday frown up-side-down.

1. Journal about it.

Maybe your holiday was perfect. Journal about it. That way you can remember all the little things that brought you so much joy.

Maybe your holiday sucked. Journal about it. It may help you release any negativity you’re holding onto.

2. Take down the decorations sooner rather than later.

I’m really not a Scrooge, but seriously, this one helps me every time. As soon as you can allow your living space to look as it does during the non-holiday months, the sooner it will feel back to normal. And when things look and feel back to normal, your emotions will follow.

3. Start an after-holiday tradition.

It doesn’t need to be a big thing. Just something simple that you can always look forward to. Like going to see a movie or enjoying a nice lunch at a favorite family restaurant. If you’re not completely sick of shopping (me, never) you can get out and use up any gift cards you got.

4. Just be sad. You’ll snap out of it soon enough.

Acknowledge that this is what happens to you when the holidays end. Tell yourself that you’re going to be sad for a bit, and then when you’re ready, move on. It’s normal.

Cheers to the beginning of another year! The unknown is exciting, and the unknown is scary. No matter what happens over the next 365 days (and beyond) you can handle it all.

Ur a Mom Now. 

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