Have you been experiencing a post-holiday come-down depression? So have plenty of other moms
The winter blahs can hit pretty hard after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, because all of a sudden there’s just…not much to look forward to after the craziness of December. This year, seasonal depression seems to be hitting people harder due to the pandemic. There’s even less to do than usual, people are still getting sick and dying at alarming rates, and for people who live in a colder climate, outdoor activity is limited.
Many moms are really feeling it this year, and are opening up about it in our Confessional. If this is you, too, please know you’re not the only one.
“I hate when the holidays are over!! I seriously get depressed for a few days while taking down my decorations.”
“Just when I’m feeling like I could get into the Christmas spirit the damn holidays are over.”
“I walk around all "bah, humbug!" but then I am sad when the holidays are over. WTF is wrong with me?”
“I always feel depressed when the holidays are over only person I know who is still listening to Christmas music a week later”
Also known as “post-vacation syndrome,” the stress and depression of this slump can hit hard after a period of intense emotion and stress (like the holidays). According to Psycom, post-holiday blues share many of the same characteristic symptoms of an anxiety or mood disorder: insomnia, low-energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and anxiousness. But unlike clinical depression, the distress is short-lived rather than long-term.
Even though many of us didn’t gather in big groups or meet up with family for the holidays like usual, many of us felt the need to make the holidays as awesome as any other year (if not more so) for our kids. We all earned some joy in 2020, damn it, and now that the peak of the holidays is over…well, we’re in the valley of winter. And a particularly bleak one at that.
“Not sure if this is my usual seasonal depression... or if it’s actual real depression. Or if I’m just so alone that it feels like depression. Either way it fucking sucks and I’m over it.”
“Seasonal depression is kicking my butt hard this yr. Spring please come early I have zero energy and motivation”
“I am starting to feel the downward slide into seasonal depression again. I don't want to take more medication.”
“I dont know y I'm n a funk. I've been n a funk for the last 2 weeks. These last 2 weeks it's been self serve for dinner n 2xs take out. I'm not depressed or sad. I just feel like I'm n a rutt. It's either I'm bored or feeling just funky. Idk how 2 explain”
The weight of having to navigate life during a global pandemic that shows no signs of slowing down yet, even with a vaccine rollout, is so exhausting — mentally and physically. Even though the holidays can bring their own type of stress, things like taking down the pretty lights and happy decor can be a real bummer. Especially because so many of us were putting up our Christmas decorations very early in the season to help give us the boost we needed — and now, it’s just…over.
“I'm frozen on the couch because I'm overwhelmed and depressed.”
“I think I'm depressed because I have zero motivation to do anything. Cleaning, crafts, games, planning. I can think of plenty to do but I can't get myself to do anything!”
“Going back into de facto lockdown for an entire winter with these kids is either going to give me one hell of a sense of humor, or a motherfucking breakdown.”
“The pandemic, election, getting dark at 6 pm, have my depression and anxiety in overdrive. I'm not sure I'm going to survive the winter, or even if I want to”
We might not be able to change the circumstances of the world right now, but one thing we can do is take care of ourselves. This sounds exhausting when you’re already depressed, but it’s so important. Getting quality sleep, fresh air, and keeping a regular routine can help keep you on track if you’re struggling emotionally and mentally.
Since this year is particularly dull, we’ve got to get creative about finding safe things to do. Bundle up and go for a hike, plan a day-drive where you and the family check out a new scene and get some food from a restaurant you’ve never been to and have a car picnic. Schedule these things in advance so you all have something to look forward to, no matter how small.
Patience is key right now. For all who are struggling, just go easy on yourself, okay?