Monday, December 31, 2012

Post-Holiday Doldrums: Beating the After-Christmas Blues

For many of us, myself included, the post-holiday period is a bit of a drag: all the season’s gifts have been unwrapped, friends and family members have puttered back to their respective homes, and the refrigerator is stocked with gelatinous leftovers.  Add to this December’s notoriously grim weather, the post-seasonal malaise comes as no surprise.

While attempting to address my own post-holiday glumness I compiled a list of simple to-do’s that will help keep your spirits high for the rest of the holiday-less winter.
Let There Be Light!

Just because the holiday season may be over doesn’t mean that you have to put all of your candles (scented or otherwise) away.  If you have ‘em, burn ‘em!  Fill your home with the spicy, woodsy scents of winter well into the New Year.  There is a lot to be said for the calming effects of seasonal scents, particularly when your nerves are frazzled; Emily Post isn’t going to jump out of your pantry (if she did, she’s probably a zombie, so you should definitely get a baseball bat!) and tell you that you need to be burning a lemon verbena candle and not a fresh balsam candle.
The soft light given off by candles is also a (very minor) substitute for the natural light we lack during the winter months.  Really, they are a win win.

Relish the scents that make you feel relaxed and stock up on them while they are on offer at Bath & Body Works!
Enjoy the Sales

The period between Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s is rife with bargains; many of the year’s best deals can be found during this lovely little “sale window.”  Christmas items are drastically marked down right now and are just waiting to be snatched up for next year’s festivities.  Why worry about next year today?-- because it’s 75% off!

As much as I hate to admit this-- especially since I am of a decidedly Marxist political persuasion-- there is something visceral about shopping: finding the best deal, trolling the aisles (real or virtual), and collecting items.  Really, there is something almost tribal about shopping that appeals to our most instinctive ways of being, something that takes us back to the days of the hunter-gatherer.  While that sounds silly (and I am well aware that it does), it’s a cathartic experience, this bargain hunting.
Do Your Community a Solid

By far, the best way to combat your Post-Crimbo sadness is to do something positive for others.  I’ve harped on and on about the importance of doing good works for others throughout the year. People it seems are at their most generous in the month-or-so between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Just because the calendar clicks over doesn’t mean that you no longer are “required” to be kind or generous to others; rather, this lack of charitability should your (my, our) invitation to do more for those who need our help.  Remember: no matter how deep your funk may be, no matter how bad off you think you are, there is always another person in greater need that could use your assistance-- financial, emotional, or in kind.

Forget your own blues and help someone else get out of their own.

Do you have any sure-fire ways of beating the post-holiday blues?  Let me know in the comments.



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