Puja is gone. Even Diwali is gone. This year is almost about to end. However, even after a long weekend of festivity, do you still feel gloomy? Are your Monday blues taking over your work? Do you think people around you should just stop being annoying?
I can’t give you solutions. Not into that kind of alchemy but hold on. I can probably explain to you about post-holiday blues. If you stay with me till the end, I don’t mind waving my witch wand over your gloomy day.
Post-Diwali Gloom or Holiday Depression
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64 percent of people reported being affected by holiday depression. The National Alliance on Mental Illness defines the holiday blues as “temporary feelings of anxiety or depression during the holidays that can be associated with extra stress, unrealistic expectations, or even memories that accompany the season.” Reportedly more than half of the people reported being stressed about money during the holiday season. I think I am sure a lot of us can see that tension within our operational circles.
On the contrary one should be feeling happy post holidays and festivals right? Isn’t that what we are supposed to feel?
Emotional bandwidth is like a rubber band. The more you stretch it, the more powerfully it will hit. There is hardly any exact guideline that you can use to pin down this feeling. However, there are many speculations and a few research spaces that talk about the various possible reasons. Some of them being:
Holiday time expect us to be on our toes. They make us do things that we otherwise won’t engage in. Can you imagine meeting your extended family every day? We tend to have our schedules filled with social events during this time of the year and then suddenly that being taken away kind of takes time to adjust. The holiday season can be demanding and it is hard to keep up. Sometimes we have difficulty getting enough restful sleep.
Our food intake is adversely affected. We tend to eat a lot or too less. Even if you eat properly, your sleep schedule harms the digestion process. Festivals are very closely knitted with food and there is certainly no denying about it. You may overindulge in food and that might leave you feeling guilty.
Change is hard and even harder when it happens over a relationship that you have lost. Festivals are usually with family but spending time with them can leave you with mixed feelings. There are two possibilities: Missing the time you spend with them post-holidays or regretting the whole interaction due to whatever differences. Holidays tend to bring up memories of those no longer with us, or those with whom we no longer have a relationship. It is like remembering them and reliving those memories. It can be painful at times.
People tend to overspend or go over budget. This induces a lot of anxiety. The holidays can create or worsen money problems. Many people feel pressured to give in ways that create debt and anxiety.
However, if this post holiday gloomy feeling is recurring every year, there is something that you should look into.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
If you tend to experience the same symptoms every year at the same time, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern is what it is called.
Most people tend to experience symptoms entering the winter months that can be confused with the Holiday Blues. According to National Institute of Mental Health,
For winter-pattern SAD, specific symptoms may include:
- Oversleeping (hypersomnia)
- Overeating, particularly with a craving for carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Social withdrawal (feeling like “hibernating”)
Specific symptoms for summer-pattern SAD may include:
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Poor appetite, leading to weight loss
- Restlessness and agitation
- Episodes of violent behavior
Some of the treatments available are:
- Light therapy
- Antidepressant medications
- Vitamin D
All I can say is that be patient with yourself. I know easier said than done but you got it!