When the last of the Christmas decorations are packed away, it is easy to feel a little lost or down at the lack of bright fairy lights – especially when the weather outside is dreary and dark. But how can your home help you beat the post-Christmas blues?
From focusing on wellness in design to resetting your home for the New Year, setting your home up to prioritise your wellbeing helps to start your year off on the right foot, wellness experts say.
These are the four things wellness experts prioritize to help beat the post-Christmas blues at home and organize your home for wellness in December.
How to beat the post-Christmas blues at home
When taking down Christmas decorations, your home can quickly feel empty – especially without a looming Christmas tree in the corner. The trick to help avoid the post-Christmas blues is to make a house look cozy so you still have somewhere to snuggle up and avoid the dreary weather outside – even if it is just a single cozy corner. Here’s how to set your home up to avoid stress in the off-season.
1. Don’t delay removing Christmas decor
Even when you don't want the festive season to end and normal life to resume, it is important to not delay taking down Christmas decor or organizing Christmas decorations for storage, as this can only prolong your SAD. Instead, find the time to replace your Christmas pieces with other winter-appropriate decor and cozy furnishings to make the most of the last of the cold weather.
‘Post-holiday blues can hit hard for many people as we enter a bleak season of cold gray days ahead,’ Felicity Nicole, mentor, and founder of She Is You, begins. ‘What you can do to make yourself a space, even if it’s a corner that screams “you”. Gather things representing you and use decor to boost your mood – whether a comfy chair, a cozy soft throw blanket, a stack of books, or a small end table by a window. This space can be your reflection time, take a breather moment, or journal your heart away.
‘I am a firm believer that our home represents what we feel internally,’ Felicity continues. ‘So get a good deep clean in, shift some furniture around, and if it’s in the budget, hit your local Homegoods and grab a few new accessories to make your space feel good to get us through the remainder of winter.’
Felicity is a two-time International Best Selling Author, Mentor, Speaker, and Editor-in-Chief of her magazine publication, She Is You.
2. Declutter and reorganize the kitchen to prioritize better eating
While decluttering and home organizing may be the last thing on your mind when dealing with the post-Christmas blues, decluttering a kitchen and removing any remnants of Christmas leftovers can help reset your home and allow you to focus on eating healthier after a week of indulging.
Avrey Zenker, a registered dietitian at EverFlex Fitness explains that eating more healthily can quickly boost your mood, even if it is not a specific resolution of yours:
‘Re-organizing your kitchen is a great way to get inspired to cook better meals,’ she begins. ‘Setting up an environment that's conducive to our goals can be one of the most impactful things you can do. I don't think it needs to be said that doing a good clean and organizing your fridge can be a big help.’
3. Tidy your bedroom to promote good sleep
The post-Christmas blues, combined with a week of festivities and odd schedules, can have a big impact on the quality of your sleep – with the knock-on effect of making your mood worse. Candy Taylor-Ceballos, licensed Clinical Social Worker at Grow Therapy, recommends decluttering your bedroom for a happier space as soon as the decorations go away:
‘Although having the blues can result in insomnia, it’s vital to get adequate sleep every night to optimize your physical and mental health. Adults should get at least seven hours of shut-eye each night. Insomnia can worsen depression, and vice versa, creating a vicious cycle. It is essential to address both,’ she explains.
Aim to put all clutter out of sight, even if you don't have the time or energy to fully declutter, to help promote better rest, and try making a bedroom smell good for sleep to help promote relaxation. Cleaning a bedroom is also a must after the busy holiday season when we may have let regular chores fall to the wayside.
4. Prioritize cleaning and decluttering sunny spots
Sunlight is the ultimate remedy for the post-Christmas blues and combating SAD, shares Avrey Zenker, registered dietitian, so it is important to make the most of it, even when staying at home, she urges.
To help encourage yourself into the light, you can prioritize cleaning and tidying the sunnier spots of your home, she recommends. ‘Exposure to sunlight on the skin hopes to improve our vitamin D levels, which can help improve our mood. If you have New Year's resolutions, this is a great way to set up your environment in the best way to support you.’
5. Use lighting to tackle SAD
'When sunlight is on the scarcer side, it can help to use the best SAD lamps around your home to help mimic the sun's natural patterns and regulate your circadian rhythms, improving your sleep and your mood', says Millie Hurst, Solved section editor for Homes & Gardens.
‘SAD lamps, or sun lamps, are one of the best ways to make a house less depressing in fall and winter,’ she shares, ‘but you can also supplement the lack of light by layering standard lighting around your home for a cozy glow that mimics the glow of Christmas lights and makes being at home for longer periods that little bit more enjoyable.’
Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, overseeing the Solved section, which provides readers with practical advice for their homes. Millie has written about and tried out countless cleaning and DIY hacks in the six years since she became a journalist, and has worked in both London and New York.
What are the post-Christmas blues?
The post-Christmas blues is a period of low mood also called SAD post-vacation syndrome where we reach a slump after a period of intense emotion or stress. Often, the symptoms are reminiscent of depression such as insomnia, low energy, irritability, and anxiousness. It can also be linked to having to return to work or a normal schedule after a period of rest.
Why can’t I get over the post-Christmas blues?
If you are struggling to get out of the post-Christmas slump, then it can be helpful to refresh your home and change your environment to give your mind something new to focus on and help you feel a little less caged in during the colder winter months. It is also helpful to talk to someone about how you are feeling – be it a friend or a professional, to help you get back to feeling like yourself again in the New Year.
When trying to get out of your post-Christmas slump, it can help to embark on a holiday project to beat the post-Christmas blues and give your mind something to focus on – be it a small hobby or redecorating a room of your home. Anything to give you something to look forward to and focus your attention on when spending time inside without festive hosting to focus on.
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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