The Christmas decorations are packed away, the tree is gone and some Iowans may find themselves with a case of post-holiday depression. Psychiatrist Dr. Todd Stull, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says it’s not a true depression but more of situational adjustment. He says the best thing a person can do is to return to their old way of thinking.
Stull says, "People can kinda’ get back into the routine or if the stress goes down, then the depressive symptoms, or the sadness, gets better." He says the holiday time is a busy season and there is rarely a time to kick back and relax — which is something we should all try for now.
He says it’s "Push, push, push, go, go, go and people do need to recharge during that time, they do need some downtime to let themselves unwind." Stull says one of the best things a person can do is to exercise. Not only will it help a person lose some of that holiday weight but it also does wonders to fight the blues.
"Start an exercise routine and continue with it," Stull says. "Not just do it a month or two but continue with it because it’ll help you to feel better throughout the year." He also suggests not dwelling on the disappointments or if something didn’t go as planned, but what memories were made. Take those memories and work on a scrapbook or computer page that contains events of the holidays.
If you can’t bear taking down the holiday decorations just yet, don’t. There is no time frame and no harm in leaving up a few decorations or lights until you are ready to close the book on Christmas 2008.