What Comes After ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’?


Photo by: Grace Ryba

Sophomore Josh Ulicni is feeling the post-holiday season blues.

Grace Ryba, Staff Writer

Some people dread the holiday season, and do not enjoy dealing with family or gift shopping. On the other hand, some feel depressed going back to their regular everyday working routines following what is commonly referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year”. This pattern of sadness is known as post-holiday depression, and takes place anytime after the holidays.

Licensed psychologist and marriage and family counselor Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker shared the key causes for post-holiday blues. “ [E]xpectations hit reality. Relatives aren’t always kind. Gifts aren’t given and received in the spirit intended. The fantasy that maybe this year will be different is dashed yet again. It’s hard for even the most resilient not to feel a letdown. For those who are prone to depression anyway, the weeks after a holiday can feel like the emotional rug has been pulled out from them.”

A study by BBC found 76 percent of workers’ stress levels increased after going back to work following the holidays. Post-holiday season stress and blues seem to be even more common in the school atmosphere.

“It makes kids pay attention less and work less. Not only that, kids have a hard time adjusting back, and become more anxious and stressed,” sophomore Josh Ulicni said.

Students can have a hard time getting back into the swing of things, especially with the end of a semester approaching.

“It can be hard coming back from winter break just to get piled on with review packets and midterms,” freshman Amanda Mazzuchi said.

Post-holiday depression impacts students of all ages, and it can be difficult to have to deal with the everyday stress that comes from school on top of that.

“I think that post-holiday depression affects some students more than others, but the students affected by it fall into patterns of not completing their homework and trying to skip classes. I’ve seen this firsthand from many of my friends,” sophomore Madison Lucido said.

Fortunately, there are solutions to getting out of the rut of the sadness felt after the holiday season. ”I think most people get the blues because they live just for the holiday. They make such a big deal of this holiday being the only thing they have got to look forward to. The answer lies in planning your weeks and months and incorporating other inspiring events and projects that will keep you excited,” Life coach Shannah Kennedy said.

Psych Central also shares the following tips:

  • Take care of yourself
  • Take a meditative few minutes a couple times a day
  • Call a friend
  • Make a pact with yourself to do something small but positive for yourself at least five times a day
  • Give yourself the gift of giving to someone else.
  • Arrange things to look forward to
  • Give yourself an attitude transplant

Luckily, post-holiday depression generally lasts for a short period of time. Although the holiday season may be over for now, the turn of the year brings new adventures and opportunities. Therefore, people should not dwell on the past and instead look forward to the future.