Although holidays are usually filled with joy and activity, the conclusion of the holiday season can be challenging. According to a survey, 64% of individuals experience post-holiday blues. As the exhilaration and pressure of the holiday season subside, people often feel exhausted, melancholic, or down, similar to the symptoms of depression.
Depression, on the other hand, is a severe mood disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression associated with seasonal changes, is most frequently observed in winter. Both are prevalent among older adults and can be treated with the assistance of a healthcare professional.
Unlike depression, post-holiday blues are temporary and frequently alleviated independently. Here are six straightforward measures to remedy your post-holiday blues:
Maintain Your Regular Schedule
Consistency in your daily routine is beneficial for your mental well-being throughout the year, and it becomes especially crucial when you’re feeling low. Prepare a checklist of your daily activities, so you can keep track of your schedule when it’s easy to lose track of time. Place the checklist somewhere prominent, like your bedroom or on the refrigerator, where you can’t overlook it. This visual prompt will serve as a reminder and motivate you to stick to your routine.
Calendars are also useful for maintaining good mental health because they assist in keeping us on track. Ensure you mark essential events on your calendar, such as when you take your medication.
Achieve Adequate Rest
Lack of sleep can trigger depression and melancholy, while oversleeping isn’t ideal for mental well-being either. It’s all about striking a balance. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is optimal for older adults. Sleep helps regulate various systems in your body, including emotions, metabolism, and cognitive function.
Maintaining consistency in your sleep pattern can ensure you obtain the appropriate amount of rest required for peak performance during winter. Consistently waking up and going to bed at the same time every day can assist in managing the blues.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating well can nourish our bodies and impact our moods positively.
Begin your day with a wholesome breakfast with avocado toast or fortified whole-grain cereal. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated or “good” fats and packed with tryptophan, a serotonin precursor that enhances moods. Fortified whole-grain cereal provides vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption for healthy bones and may also enhance cognitive health.
Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day because consuming food within an hour of waking up raises blood sugar levels after its natural decline during sleep. Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels throughout the day can improve mood.
Boost your mood with snacks like bananas and nuts throughout the day. Consider dishes like poached egg and asparagus or black beans and rice to combat the blues for lunch and dinner. Eggs are rich in vitamin B, essential for energy levels, while asparagus boosts serotonin, a mood-enhancing chemical. Brown rice and black beans also contain nutrients like selenium that can improve your frame of mind.
Spend Time Outdoors
Spending time in nature can significantly benefit your mental health. A change of scenery, physical activity, and exposure to sunlight, which is rich in vitamin D, are all crucial for your overall well-being. Even during the winter months, when daylight hours are shorter and temperatures are colder, spending time outside is still important. Just 20 minutes outside can lower your stress levels. However, it’s essential to dress appropriately for the weather in your area. For individuals residing in colder regions, this necessitates a warm coat, a hat, a scarf, gloves, and warm, rubber-soled shoes that can aid in preventing falls, especially for older adults.
Discover a New Interest
After the holiday season concludes, you may discover you have much spare time. One advantage of the post-holiday season is that you can explore a new hobby to uplift your spirits.
Numerous hobbies are suitable for older adults, such as reading, bird watching, crafting, and photography, but the possibilities are limitless, and you can incorporate your passions into this list. Not only are hobbies enjoyable, but they can also combat feelings of sadness.