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Tips for Beating the Post-Holiday Blues

By Griffin Hospital on 1/14/2016

As many as one in five Americans experiences Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), according to the American Psychiatric Association.

There are many reasons people feel down after the holidays. We go from having a packed social calendar and being surrounded by family and friends to feeling the “hangover” of too many festivities, experiencing fatigue from trying to get everything done, and long, cold winter days and nights that often keep us indoors, isolated and feeling as though winter will be endless.

To help you combat the post-holiday blues, we’ve put together five simple tips to help boost your spirits:

  • Keep the fun going. Take some of what you made you feel good during the holidays and continue it. Incorporate one enjoyable activity into your week – whether it be a movie, a dinner date, a party or a trip to local museum.
  • Stay social. Invite people over. It doesn’t have to be a formal event, you can just invite them to play games, watch a movie, or cook a meal with you. If there were people you spent time with during the holidays that you really enjoyed, make plans with them. Don’t wait for holidays to see the people you enjoy – planning and scheduling ahead means you can incorporate activities you look forward to into your calendar.
  • Start or continue your exercise routine. The best way to feel better emotionally is to feel better physically. Exercise induces changes in the brain that produce endorphins, giving you a feeling of happiness and calm. To keep you motivated, think about exercising with someone else a few times during the week so you have company and someone to keep you motivated.
  • Get outside. There are many explanations for SAD, but many believe it is due to the decrease in sunlight during this time of year. Exposure to natural light has been shown to increase your energy levels and improve sleep. But too little light can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and leave you feeling lethargic and depressed. To help you feel better, plan activities outdoors and make the most of daylight hours – even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block.
  • Create personal health goals. Take care of your health by eating well, exercising and getting a good amount of sleep. Make yourself a priority. Keep a diary of your personal health goals and what you did each day to achieve them.

Need help creating or meeting your personal health goals? Griffin Faculty Physicians (GFP) is ready and to be your own personal care team that will help you achieve your goals. Give us a call at 203-924-5540 today – we look forward to being your partners in health!

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