Written by Writer’s Corps member Alexis Anderson
The holiday season is officially over and you and your partner have managed to exchange gifts and visit family and friends while keeping your relationship intact. Congrats! But, as the holiday rush comes to an end, you notice your mood comes down as quickly as your Christmas tree. What gives? You may have the post-holiday blues, which Bustle describes as a mild depression brought on by a mix of unmet expectations, recovering from overindulgent foods and readjusting to work. And really, after all of the shopping, traveling and socializing associated with the holiday season, it’s natural to feel exhausted. While the post-holiday blues are common they can have some unexpected effects on people in relationships.
Below are 4 unexpected ways the holiday blues can impact your relationships and how to get over them together.
1. Start Healthy Routines
It’s easy to get in the habits of overindulging in unhealthy food and skipping your workouts after the holidays. You’d be surprised by how much a week (or two) of putting off your gym visits can mess with your mood. According to an article by Livestrong.com, the benefits of working out, such as the suppression of chemicals that contribute to depression, will be lost when you stop exercising. This can contribute to mood swings which can directly affect your relationship.
Get your partner and yourself excited about being healthy by setting health goals together! Investing time in planning meals and working out can get you both motivated and excited about starting even more healthy habits. The combination of endorphins and the bonding experience of reaching personal goals will raise both of your spirits.
2. Log Off of Social Media
A common misconception is that everyone is well rested after the holidays, but in reality, the “time off” is filled with traveling, late nights and entertaining. After the holidays our minds may need a mental break from all of the over stimulation. Being glued to social media and checking out posts will only add to your exhaustion. Constantly scrolling through social media may also lead you to compare yourself and your relationship with others. Instead of focusing on someone else’s Instagram posts, learn to appreciate the time you are spending with your partner.
Stay unplugged by planning tech-free dates that keep you connected to your SO instead of your newsfeed. Cooking a dinner together, going to a movie, starting a puzzle are all great ways to unwind and enjoy each others company.
3. Manage Your To-Do List
Returning from a holiday means starting a long to-do list with little time to finish it before you get back to work. You and your SO can manage your to-lists and stress by first prioritizing your least favorite things on the list. For example, you can schedule a time to do grocery shopping and laundry together. Taking on projects together like rearranging your bedroom or shopping for new office supplies can make you both feel organized and ready to take on the New Year.
4. Set Bucket List Worthy Goals
After weeks of anticipation and excitement for the holidays, it can be a huge bummer to get back to a schedule with nothing fun planned to look forward to. One reason for this is the contrast effect, which makes us perceive the excitement of the holidays as way better than the post-holiday season.
Setting big goals and having new experiences with your partner is a great way to bring excitement to your relationship. Pull out your bucket list and check off a few things you have always wanted to do. Learning a new language, going skydiving, or learning to ski are all great ways to get you and your partner out of the post-holiday slump.