Tracy Shaffer: Avoid the holiday blues

You made it through Christmas, New Year's and now you have about 356 days left until you do it all over again. It's time to get back to normal life.

Nothing left to plan, nothing to buy, no holiday parties, and no family get-togethers -- just the simple life. We get so excited about the holidays, the parties, most of the events, and we make sure to plan things to the last detail. The holidays are a busy and fast paced time, and holidays are all about hope.

Maybe this is the year this will happen or that will happen.

We hope for many things.

Christmas is faith, believing and having a dream for new things.

Then it is all over.

Done.

The magic you felt along with the feelings of excitement that this was the year something special would come around are gone. It did not happen.

Depression creeps up, sadness, fatigue and you do not even realize the expectations you had were unrealistic.

Having holiday blues is very real. It affects many people, and they are not often noticed until the holidays are at an end. What can you do to feel better?

Getting outside and into the sunlight can help depression; morning sunlight means a new day. You can make this day better than yesterday and start to make things happen.

If you had hoped for something special over the holidays and it did not happen, well, now it is time to make it happen. Take one step at a time and focus on what it is you wanted. Make it happen for you.

For some, holiday parties and the having the family all together is what makes a Christmas. You can still be around family and join different functions in town. You can still be part of something. So you did not get that certain present you wanted, well, go out and buy it yourself.

Do not let yourself be a victim.

You should realize feeling a little depressed is normal for a lot of people after such a stress-filled time. Talk to a friend or family member. Plan a lunch date.

After a few days -- maybe a week -- the holiday blues start to fade. Thank goodness they are short lived and you will get over the sad feelings you might have at this time. One way to help get over the holiday blues is to start planning on the next Christmas.

You can make it even better than it was this year. Maybe start a new tradition that can continue as the family grows. Take a few moments to write short notes to those you visited or who came by to see you. Volunteering is an excellent thing to do. You can feel good helping others.

Remember all those pictures you took at the party or while the family was all together? Why don't you make an album? Write a small note to describe each picture and what was going on when it was taken.

The bottom line here is do what you need to do to feel good. Think positively. Take some time for you.

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