Why Does Post-Holiday Depression Occur?

by Jan 15, 2024

As the holiday season draws to a close, many find themselves caught in a paradoxical mix of emotions. While the festive spirit and joyful gatherings filled the preceding weeks, a subtle shift often follows. The weeks after the holidays can be a challenging period for individuals who experience a dip in mood and heightened feelings of melancholy, whether it’s the return to work, the end of beloved traditions, or the contrast to the festive season’s vibrancy.

Let’s unravel the underlying causes of this post-holiday emotional shift.

Exhaustion Sets In

The holidays usually call for a lot more events and social gatherings. There’s a good chance that you didn’t prioritize getting enough sleep. You may have woken up earlier to start your day of activities. You may have also felt obligated to stay up or stay out longer than your normal bedtime so that you didn’t have a fear of missing out.

On top of probably not getting enough sleep, you also may have experienced emotional exhaustion. Hanging out with loved ones is great, but at times, it may feel like you’re walking on eggshells when trying to navigate the different relationships with everyone.

Your Nutrition Isn’t Where It Was Prior to the Holidays

The holidays can have a negative impact on your nutrition and diet as well. While everything is perfectly fine in moderation, the holidays can throw off the meals you typically have from week to week, which can in turn throw off your body and how you feel about yourself.

The excess of holiday meals, treats, and drinks can start to make you feel a little more bloated than normal and may even impact other areas of your life like your skin and how your clothes fit. Plus, alcohol and an excess of junk food and sugar can be a depressant. The post-holiday blues could mean just getting back into your normal meals again.

Your Normal Routine Is Thrown Off

Your nutrition isn’t the only area of your life that can be thrown a bit out of whack from the holidays. It can be hard to make the switch back into your normal life and routine again post-holiday. You may have had a few more days off of work or even taken some extra days off using some of your personal days.

Whether you had an incredible holiday and feel relaxed and at ease or your holiday was chaotic and you feel like you need another vacation from your vacation, you may be experiencing a little anxiety before heading back into your normal, daily routine again.

Next Steps

Your body and brain can trick you into thinking that your daily schedule and routine aren’t as great as the holiday season, especially when compared to the the time you have to relax and unwind. It can be hard to get back into your groove again. You might even experience something like the “Sunday scaries” on a deeper level.

On top of already feeling anxiety about trying to get on a good routine again, you may already be experiencing stress from the workload or chores that you have to get done. It can feel overwhelming to have to complete normal activities like grocery shopping, meal prepping, laundry, and trying to get to bed at a normal time after having a few days off of your normal schedule.

If you’re experiencing a little anxiety after a holiday, you’re not the only one and you don’t have to go through this alone. We’re here to help you find your routine and happiness again. Reach out today to set up an intake appointment. 

Click here for more information on depression therapy.