Before you know it, you can end up with a nasty case of post-holiday blues. According to Dr. Frank Barnhill, about 25% of us start the New Year feeling down, and though there's a nearly infinite supply of remedies that are supposed to help you look forward to January instead of back to December, only a few can truly be given the title "extra strength."
Here are five of the best tips for kicking the hangover holiday blues, according to doctors, psychologists, and professional opinion-havers (like me):
Re-Gift to the Less Fortunate: Helping others is often the best medicine for those who need a little help themselves, and it's one of the only situations in which re-gifting can be considered positive. Spend some time gathering up your unwanted gifts (along with other items that you no longer need) and donate them -- encourage others to do the same.
Hit the Trail/Treadmill: Exercise is one way that you can literally force your body to release some of its "feel good" endorphins. Not to mention that exercise can help you keep a New Year's resolution if you decided to make 2010 the year you got into the best shape of your life.
Break Out the Comfort Food: One way to keep the post-holiday blues at bay is to keep the celebration going, and since the winter can feel like a holiday dead zone, it helps to create your own winter traditions. Prepare some kind of special "winter food" and share it with family and friends (be sure to eat some yourself).
Spend Those Gift Cards: Shopping therapy is a year-round cure-all for some people's holiday blues. When we're not spending our own money, it can be therapeutic for an even greater number of us. Take some "me time" and go on a selfish shopping spree.
Work on Next Year's Gift List: Over the course of shopping/giving season, you almost certainly came up with some super-thoughtful gift ideas that you didn't get to take advantage of. If you can get these ideas down on paper (or your smart phone), you can give gift-gurus like Santa a run for their money next year. Are you feeling the post-holiday let down? What are you doing to cope?