10 Basic Tips for Regaining Post-Holiday Happiness

The holidays can be challenging for just about everyone as fatigue from busy schedules, the strain of holiday spending and challenges due to family discord are faced. For many, after the gifts are opened and the parties have ended, the post-holiday let down is just beginning.

As a result, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, a renowned clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience, is sharing 10 simple tips for overcoming the post-holiday blues and recapturing the joy of the holiday season:

  1. Follow in the footsteps of the millions of Americans who are vowing to eat right and exercise this New Year. At least 30 minutes of exercise per day will naturally improve your mood and energy. Eating healthy food is important, but it’s also vital to eat regularly. This will help you avoid late-in-the-day crashes and the binging that follows.
  2. Find a sense of purpose. Volunteering in your community or taking a class at a local college will help you focus on an activity, rather than your feelings, and can help you overcome the blues. This socialization will also reduce loneliness, which may be a contributing factor to your sadness.
  3. Plan. Since the holidays were something to look forward to, and it may seem like there’s nothing to do now, get a vacation, party, date night or something else you enjoy onto the calendar. A weekend getaway can provide the change of venue you may need to overcome a slump. Although you may have just gone through a whirlwind of parties, it won’t seem that way in a month. Plus, the planning itself will be a welcome distraction.
  4. If you miss the spirit of holidays, then follow the pledge of Ebenezer Scrooge: “’I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.” Develop your holiday photos and gather photos from years past to assemble a scrapbook. Hang an ornament from a hook, light fixture, doorknob or somewhere else where you will see it regularly. String white Christmas lights around your bathroom mirror.
  5. Clean the house. In addition to packing up decorations and disposing of used gift wrap, undertake a thorough house cleaning. Donating unwanted goods to charity will help clear the clutter, while organizing will help you concentrate and clear your mind.
  6. Sleep well. Short and/or irregular sleeping can affect your physical and mental health. Short-term effects include drowsiness and reduced thinking ability, while long-term sleep issues lead to obesity and hormone disruption, which can cause cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Getting your eight hours can boost your mood, but just don’t sleep too much as this can worsen depression.
  7. Take control of your finances. If holiday overspending has you down, figure out what you need to do to pay off your credit cards. Start saving, if necessary, and begin regular payments on any debt.
  8. Meditate. Learn to focus on and appreciate the present as you become more aligned with the universe around you. If that’s too much spiritual mumbo jumbo for you, at least you will be able to relax through mediation.
  9. Stay in touch or reconnect with loved ones. Have regular family meals to stay connected and talk about important issues in each others’ lives. Call, email, text or even Facebook an old friend. These relationships will bolster your spirits to pre-holiday levels.
  10. Open the blinds, throw back the curtains and get some sunlight in your life. A doctor can help determine if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that’s caused by the onset of winter (or sometimes summer). Light therapy has been shown to be extremely effective for treating SAD. If there isn’t enough sunshine in your area, your doctor may recommend use of a light box, visor or lamp that simulates sunlight.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D graduated with her PhD in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. Among her many credits, she is founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD) and is applauded for her success in developing programs that help kids recover from autism. She has published works on a variety of psychological disorders, is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and has been featured on dozens of radio and television programs. For more information about Dr. Granpeesheh, visither webiste.

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD) is the world’s largest and most experienced organizations effectively treating children with autism and related disorders. Following the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, a behavioral treatment approach that has been thoroughly and empirically validated by the scientific community, CARD develops individualized treatment plans that focus on teaching vital skills. For more information about CARD, visit their website.

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