Why do we feel depressed after the Holidays/Christmas?

January 8th, 2007 by Sit up a Tree

According to experts, January 24th has been identified as the worst day of the year:

January has been long regarded as the darkest of months, but a formula from a part-time tutor at Cardiff University shows it gets even worse this Monday.

Foul weather, debt, fading Christmas memories, failed resolutions and a lack of motivation conspire to depress, Cliff Arnalls found.

The expert behind this study also came up with a formula to back up the study:

The formula for the day of misery reads 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA.

Where W is weather, D is debt – minus the money (d) due on January’s pay day – and T is the time since Christmas.

Q is the period since the failure to quit a bad habit, M stands for general motivational levels and NA is the need to take action and do something about it.

While the 24th may or may not be the most depressing day of the year, there’s little doubt that many people feel down at the beginning of a new year.  Over the Holiday/Christmas period many people will have had time off work, spent a lot of time with friends and family, consumed a lot of alcohol, given and received gifts, and a lot of plans for the new year.  When the new year becomes a reality, many are left with few memories of the festive period, debts, the feeling of loneliness and broken resolutions.

So what can you do to beat the new year blues?  There’s a lot that you can do!

  • First off, recognize that you and you alone and in charge of how you feel.  External factors might try to change you mood, but they only succeed if you allow them to do so.  Be excited about the brand new, untouched year ahead!
  • If you’ve made new year resolutions which you’ve already broken, instead of feeling down and depressed about them, think about why they are broken.  What made you break them?  Did you set too big a goal for yourself or did you just forget?  Instead of being harsh on yourself, think about what went wrong and what you can do to rectify that. 
  • Exercise!  One of the main reasons that people are depressed in winter is that they move less and have less exercise.  Move your body, sweat a little and get fit and you’ll find the veil of depression lifting.
  • Change your diet.  The festive period encourages us to eat and drink the wrong thinks in the wrong quantities.  This has a major detrimental effect on our metabolism and body chemistry.  In January we move back to regular food and drink – this gives your system yet another shock.  No wonder come January you feel like you’re not firing on all rockets.  Give yourself and your body a break and eat a healthy, balanced diet.  Drink plenty of water and cut out the alcohol.

The answers to the new year blues is pretty straight-forward – it all relies on you taking responsibility for how you feel and making the changes.  And the great thing is that change happens really quickly.  Within weeks (or maybe within a few days) the blues will have lifted and you’ll feel better and happier.

Happy New Year!

This entry was posted on Monday, January 8th, 2007 at 7:50 am and is filed under Personal Development, Stress Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Why do we feel depressed after the Holidays/Christmas?”

  1. Sit Up A Tree » Blog Archive » January Blues Says:

    […] Related posts: Why do we feel depressed after the Holidays/Christmas? […]



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