After spending time with family and friends, and at holiday festivities, you may find the holiday high is over. Maybe your bank account balance has fallen low after costly holiday gifts, and there is not another work holiday in sight. If you feel like this, you aren't alone. Many people experience a low in January after the holidays. 

At the beginning of The New Year, it's easy to look back at last year. This tends to be a time where we can beat ourselves up. 'I didn't get that promotion, I didn't move yet, or I haven't saved enough money.' This is a trap, you need to stay away from this kind of negative self talk. Now that the hectic holiday schedule is over, here are seven tips to keep the blues away as reality returns:

  1. Did your holiday schedule have you overbooked? Now is the time to get back on schedule. Go back to your support group, that helped make you feel better. Get back on a regular meal plan. Nutrition is important. Catch up on projects at work or get ahead at work, if things are slow. 
  2. Access the holiday financial damage. Did holiday shopping drain your bank account? If so, now is the time to start a savings plan and get back in control of your spending. Regaining a sense of financial control can boost your mental health and alleviate stress. 
  3. Start a new exercise program. This may involve joining a new health club, or hiring a personal trainer to help keep you on track. Exercise is great for your mood. People that exercise on a regular basis, overall, sleep better and feel better. If you aren't exercising at all, start small. Park further away the next time you are at the grocery store. Don't be scared to work up a sweat at the gym. It will pay off in the long run.
  4. Listen to positive an uplifting music. Music is good for us. It helps lift our spirits when we are feeling down. It can create positive memories for you. You can listen to music at home, at work, or in your car. Just make sure the lyrics are uplifting and not degrading.
  5. Make time for creativity in the new year. Maybe you have been wanting to take an art class or a writing class. If that doesn't seem possible, carve out some time at home for these things. There are many creative groups out there. Creativity is good for the brain and, therefore, good for our mental health. 
  6. Change your mindset. Getting over the holidays could involve a shift in your mindset. In life we go through seasons. One season doesn't last forever. We actually aren't meant to be happy all the time. Just as, we aren't met to be sad all the time. Learn to ride the highs and lows in life. In the long run you will be much happier.
  7. Introduce elements of the holidays into your daily life. If you really enjoyed visiting with family and friends, then invite them over more often. You can also invite them out to meet at a restaurant, if you don't feel like cooking. If you really enjoy the giving aspects of the holidays, then volunteer or give small gifts to family and friends. If you really enjoy getting dressed up and going out with your spouse, then have a date night. 
Also, make sure you spend time outdoors. The natural light is good for us, and it is actually essential. Since many of us were overbooked over the holidays, slowing down may prove to be helpful. Start with one of these tips and apply it to your life today. This will help change the pathways in your brain, which will help change your mood.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She has helped many people overcome depression. For more information, please visit www.LessonsforLove.com.

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