Coping with the After-Christmas crash

During the month of December, at least for many people, so much time is spent shopping for loved ones and spending every extra penny.

And then, in just one day, it's all over. And all that's left is a home which looks like a tornado went through it with all the wadded up wrapping paper scattered over the carpet.

I got back to my apartment at 8 p.m. last night to find an apartment filled with shopping bags and empty boxes. When I got home, I started to put together my assembly-required presents, such as the shower caddy from my parents. After an hour of unsuccessfully trying to put the caddy together, I had a panic attack in the middle of my living room.

I think trying to put the shower caddy together was just the straw that broke the camel's back. And all of the sudden, the stressful thoughts starting flowing -- how my bank account is now depleted, my waist line has now increased and I had to wake up at 6 a.m. the next morning to return to work. And I can't even breath a sigh of relief yet because the gift giving, money spending and parties are not yet over. Which also means no time for the daily necessities of grocery shopping and cleaning my apartment. On top of that, there's also the fact that four to eight inches of snow is expected tomorrow (and no one to plow the roads in Pontiac, where I work, so I will probably be leaving for work an hour early tomorrow).


I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way -- who are now broke and who still have so many festivities to cram into a short amount of time. Being a people pleaser myself and having a hard time saying no to anything, this is particularly stressful to me.

On top of that, I know many people who crash when the sudden build-up for Christmas is gone. The lights are taken off houses, trees are taken down and the Christmas music is no longer played on the radio. You then have to go back to your everyday realities.

This is know as post-holiday depression.

According to an article on, the possible causes of post-holiday depression are "unmet expectations, unrealistic resolutions, and a return of loneliness and guilt about overindulgence."

What are some things you can do to lessen these effects?

1. Take a day for yourself, just to breathe in and breathe out. Put on a Christmas CD, buy some for-sale Christmas themed cards, and write "Thank You" cards to your loved ones for the presents you received. You can still do something for others, without spending a fortune, and this will take your mind off your own problems. This will also show those you care about how thankful you are for them.

2. This is advice I need to listen to myself. Don't be afraid to tell your family or friends that you're broke. If you can't afford to go out, don't make yourself bankrupt just to appease others. If they really care about you, they will understand.

3. Think of the New Year as a new slate, a new start. Stop looking back at the previous year.

4. Think of something positive you can do for the New Year. Find a place to volunteer. Apply for a different career if you don't like your current job. Start a second business or get a part-time job if you need some extra cash.

5. Make time to work out. Although it is difficult to make yourself exercise, when you do, it will make you in a better mood, and help you shed the holiday weight.

6. De-clutter. Ask yourself about the items around you -- is it necessary? Throw away the things you don't use anymore to make room for your new items. And keep those items you use most closest to you so you won't need to go searching. Clutter does cause stress. Buy containers and folders at the dollar store to organize.

Read more on WebMD.

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