Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

Recovery from the holidays

The holiday season does not typically conjure up images of recovery. Family time, holiday dinners, snow covered scenes and gift giving usually come to mind. However there are reasons the holidays can wreak havoc on our peace of mind.

With travel, time off of work and overindulging in holidays treats and/or drinking alcohol (as well as overspending), by the time January comes around it can be difficult to re-focus and get back into a regular routine.  Adding New Year's resolutions to this mix can create post-holiday blues and unrealistic expectations.

Many people travel to be with their friends and family during the holidays, this can create stress due to flight delays and weather concerns as well as the added expense of flying. Hosting friends and family may also cause tensions to rise due to having additional people in your home for an extended period, causing disruptions in routine for everyone in a family, including pets.

Having several long weekends or vacation days is a treat for most people. The problem is getting back on track when the vacation is over. It can be a struggle to return to the routines associated with work and school schedules.

Family dinners, office and holiday parties all contribute to expanding our waistlines with the view that "just one more" will not hurt anything. It is the holidays after all! Overeating and overspending are similar in that we may feel guilty after both.

Some suggestions for overcoming the post holiday blues include getting back on track by re-organizing and cleaning out our workspaces to make room for new projects. De-cluttering frees up space both mentally and physically.

Beginning an exercise program or continuing with one is also a great way to get in shape--even a short daily walk can be all it takes to quiet our minds and re-focus while burning calories. One suggestion for recovering from holiday financial splurges is to track weekly expenses. This will show areas in which we can cut back on unnecessary items and save additional dollars. Those savings can really add up as time goes by.

Here's to a healthy and happy new year!

By Courtney Stewart,   1/5/2011