Two-week holiday passes in the blink of an eye and you, despite having enjoyed it to the fullest, can’t still help feeling deficient, disappointed, dreadful when thinking of the inevitable cycle of study, home, study, home that awaits you post-Christmas. The first day at school on new year, you rolled out of bed at 9 a.m. with great misery and distaste. You think the mood will fade away once you get back to school but the stagnation has lingered for days. Then, my dear friend, you may be experiencing post-holiday blues.
Post-holiday blues involve the feelings of grief, loss and stagnation after the long holiday full of intense pleasure and self-indulgence. Feeling blue after dramatic events is a natural response that is part of our emotional cycle. During the holiday, we indulge ourselves into constant stimulation. While this condition is often short-lived, some people can be deeply disheartened by the stark contrast between the holiday and reality and experience a slump in their emotion and productivity. Therefore, if you feel stuck in the nostalgia for Christmas, here are three simple tips to bounce back:
- Relive holiday’s treats:
Let me ask you a question: What is it about (Christmas) holidays that you miss so much? This is not a silly rhetorical question. Here I beg you to think about what makes holidays special to you. As an event universally celebrated in several countries and cultures, Christmas can mean vastly different things to different people. It can be that you miss the time spent with your beloved family that you can only meet face-to-face on holiday periods like Christmas. You may lament over the loss of wild, carefree and unworried party nights with your friends, something hard to achieve when you get swept in the hustle of schoolwork. However, I believe these treats are not exclusively for holidays.
As Taylor Swift sings: “We could leave the Christmas lights up ‘till January” (which is what my neighbor is still doing right now), you can always recreate wonderful moments of the holiday in your daily routine, albeit in a less extreme way. While you may not have another week for a trip to Paris or Berlin, a stroll around the bustling Rotterdam central can give you the positive energy to muddle through your days. For me, what I like most about holidays is the peace of mind it gives me. On Christmas, I didn’t get the itchy feelings in my stomach that reminded me to get home quickly to finish my assignments. I learnt to slow down and enjoy the present moments. Saying farewell to Christmas does not mean giving up on this work-life balance. Instead, this is what I strive for in 2022.
- Get some rest and give yourself time
“Are you saying those two Christmas weeks are not enough rest?”. Actually, holidays can be physically and mentally demanding even for the most outgoing extrovert. Ironically, when we try to make up for our painful days of studying hard with an even busier schedule of parties, sightseeing, and shoppings on Christmas holiday, the inevitable switch to normal life afterwards can leave us empty and stagnated. Time is necessary for us to gently adapt to this change of circumstance. I know we are all impatient to build a good start for a new year, but giving yourself time to relax and reflect will best prepare you mentally for what’s ahead this year.
- Resume healthy habits
Get your sleep back on track. Exercise and practice mindfulness. These self-care practices that we neglect on Christmas are keys to regain our emotional balance. They will also help you to function well in the stressful demands of student life.
Writer: Tra Mi Nguyen
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Alisa Mahaletska