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Avoid Post-Holiday Depression: Have Exciting Plans

By HERWriter
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One commonly heard way to avoid post-holiday depression is to make exciting plans for the months following December. Since many exciting events happen during November and December, and even January 1, it might feel like a dry spell in the coming months.

“Have some treats for January,” said Carol Goldberg, a psychologist based in New York. “There’s a lot of parties and things in December, and then January is like an empty month and people feel down and everything.”

Goldberg suggests even leaving some gifts unopened or unused until January so there is something to look forward to. She also encourages planning a party in January, since there are so many in December.

“When I had a large staff and we used to go out to a luncheon, instead of having it in December, I would make it in January,” Goldberg said. “That’s when the people really needed it more.”

It also helps to plan in advance for times you know will be depressing, like the upcoming Valentine’s Day.

“If you don’t have somebody that you want to be with or that you can be with -- you might make arrangements to do something else that would be diversionary and a nice activity,” Goldberg said. “You might have a group of people who also feel the same way and you can all get together for dinner.”

An article on www.associatedcontent.com gave two ideas for plans you can make after the holidays, though they are more focused on pampering yourself versus making plans with others. The suggestions are to “take some time to do something you enjoy,” and, “give yourself a d-i-y spa treatment.” Though it’s mainly hanging out with yourself, like reading a non-Christmas book, these ideas also nearly promise feeling better afterward, unless there’s something more serious going on.

On www.ehow.com, one author has the same idea, that people should treat themselves after the holidays are over. For example, in the five steps given, number two is to plan a trip and number three is to throw a party. However, the article advises to throw the party more around mid-January, since most people might feel a little sick of parties at that point.

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Two of my friends have January birthdays, as do I. We could write a book on the phrase "after the holidays," because we're celebrating our birthdays right as the rest of the world is ready to settle down for a bit.

The remedy? A huge spaghetti party. One of my friends throws her own annual spaghetti feed for her own birthday. It's inexpensive for her, the house is always full of friends (who doesn't feel like eating spaghetti in January?) and it's become a fun tradition in a month that has few.

Sure, she still gets a few birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper and a few Christmas cards that go two-for-one, tossing the "Merry Christmas" in with the "Happy Birthday" (would you do that for someone whose birthday was in April or September, people? Come on!) But the spaghetti feed sets her birthday apart in a warm, fun way.

I just wish I'd thought of it first!

January 6, 2010 - 9:25am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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