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How to fight off after-Christmas blues

By APRILL BRANDON
Dec. 27, 2010 at 6:27 a.m.
Updated Dec. 29, 2010 at 6:29 a.m.


Well, that's it. Christmas is over.

Nothing but a long and boring winter ahead of us now. No longer will drinking eggnog at all hours and sneaking out of work to do some last-minute gift shopping be acceptable. No more Christmas specials on TV or justifying maxing out your credit card because 'tis the season.

Thanks to the fact that Americans have built Christmas into the behemoth it has become, there's almost always a feeling of slight depression when it's over. The parties, the presents, the whirl of activity, the food (and consequently the permission to eat way too much of it) is all gone.

It's back to the real world now (and work ... ugh).

So, just how can one deal with those after-Christmas blues?

Well, hibernating with a case of wine until St. Patrick's Day is here is one way.

But there are, believe it or not, much more healthy ways to cope.

One of the best ways to fight off the blues is to stay busy. Now that you have all this super-duper awesome new stuff, why not get rid of some of your old stuff? Get your spring cleaning done a whole season early. I mean, honestly, are you ever going to wear those culottes again (here's to hoping your answer is no) or hang up that velvet Elvis painting your aunt gave you four years ago? Plus, you can donate all your things to Goodwill or some other organization.

Which leads me to my second suggestion: If you're feeling down, why not do good works for others to lift your spirits? Go volunteer. Donate food and clothes. Tutor. Clean up the beach. Just because the season of goodwill to men is over doesn't mean you have to stop spreading goodwill.

Considering New Year's Eve and Day are right around the corner (and along with them, resolutions to eat right and exercise ... oh, you know you're going to say it and totally not mean it), why not take the next couple of days to indulge in food? Not that I advocate emotional eating. But, I mean, what else are you going to do with all those leftovers? Stop with the guilt for the next few days, and just enjoy yourself.

Why not start a new project for the new year? Or start a new hobby. Photography, roller derby, start that novel you've been talking about for the past six years. Find a creative outlet.

Throw an After-Christmas Blues party and get through your depression with your family and friends. That is, if you can bear any more partying.

Take a vacation. Grab your honey and head to the closest place with warm sun and a beach. That will definitely get you out of any funk.

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