a woman sadly sitting below her christmas tree struggling with the post christmas blues

Are You Tackling The 'Post-Christmas Blues'? Here's 6 Easy Ways To Shake Them Off

After the carols fade, the post-Christmas blues emerge. Here's how to release your holiday stress and thrive through the new year.

Mark Travers, Ph.D.

By Mark Travers, Ph.D. | January 26, 2024

As the final notes of carols fade away and the warmth of holiday gatherings dissipates, many find themselves feeling the post-Christmas blues. The transition from joyous festivities to the anticipation of New Year's Eve can be challenging, casting a shadow over the otherwise celebratory season.

While the stress of Christmas lingers and anxiety approaches regarding the new year to come–with all its promises, resolutions and plans–the holidays can feel more frightening than festive for some.

If the post-Christmas blues have you feeling down or stressed, here's how to navigate and conquer your holiday heartsickness.

Post-Christmas Blues And New Year Fears

According to research from Applied Research in Quality of Life, Christmas is a critical life event that may induce stress, leading to reduced subjective well-being and health problems. The study reveals that, indeed, the Christmas period is associated with a decrease in life satisfaction and emotional well-being.

In the aftermath of the joyous festivities, the period following Christmas can often unveil a different narrative–one characterized by a subtle but tangible sense of stress. As the holiday lights dim and the decorations are carefully packed away, the reality of post-Christmas responsibilities sets in.

The aftermath of the celebration–marked by the need to tidy up, manage post-holiday finances and grapple with the return to routine–can become a stress-laden transition. The pressure to uphold the spirit of the season, coupled with the aftermath of social expectations and the potential for unmet personal goals, can contribute to post-Christmas stress that contrasts sharply with the joyful anticipation that precedes the holiday.

However, contrary to common beliefs about holiday stress, a study from the International Journal of Social Psychology emphasizes the positive impact of ritualized family celebrations. The research found that high-frequency participation in such rituals significantly increased positive well-being, affecting satisfaction with life, perceived social well-being and the balance of affective well-being. It turns out, the key to a happier holiday season might just lie in the joy of traditions and meaningful rituals. This study also challenges the notion of holidays being inherently stressful and offers an intriguing perspective on the role of rituals in shaping well-being.

For those without a stable family unit or with a dysfunctional one, creating Christmas rituals with your chosen family can not only help with the post-Christmas blues but also protect you from ghosts of your Christmas past.

Battling the Post-Christmas Blues For A Better New Year

As the final echoes of Christmas celebrations linger and the year draws to a close, using your remaining holiday time to engage in cherished rituals with family–or even by yourself–can prove to be a powerful antidote to the post-Christmas blues.

Navigating the post-Christmas blues involves acknowledging the stress that comes with the holidays, finding solace in the positive memories that were created and embracing practical strategies to ease the transition back to daily life.

Balancing the post-Christmas stress requires self-compassion, a recognition of personal limits and a focus on maintaining a healthy equilibrium between festive cheer and the demands of everyday responsibilities. As you navigate the days post-Christmas and prepare to welcome the New Year, consider the following tips to combat the blues:

  1. Leverage the remaining holiday time for family rituals. These days provide a unique opportunity to extend the festive spirit, fostering a sense of togetherness and connection. Revisiting holiday rituals–whether it be a special family meal, a game night or a shared activity–not only prolongs the joyful atmosphere but also reinforces the bonds that make the holiday season special.
  2. Reflect on the positive moments. In the quiet moments after the festivities, take time to reflect on the positive memories from the holiday season. Whether it's a heartwarming family dinner or a cherished gift exchange, journaling about these highlights can shift your focus toward the good experiences, helping to counterbalance any post-holiday melancholy.
  3. Create meaningful resolutions. When formulating New Year's resolutions, focus on positivity and achievability. Instead of setting resolutions that may induce stress, frame them in a way that promotes personal growth and well-being. The journey toward self-improvement should be a source of inspiration, not an additional burden.
  4. Prioritize social connections. The post-Christmas period is an opportune time to prioritize social connections. Spend time with loved ones, share experiences and nurture meaningful relationships. If the holiday blues seem overwhelming, reaching out for support can be a powerful antidote. Human connection has the remarkable ability to uplift spirits and provide comfort during transitional phases.
  5. Engage in self-care practices. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, self-care often takes a backseat. However, as the festivities wind down, prioritize activities that promote well-being. Whether it's mindfulness, regular exercise or ensuring adequate sleep, self-care is essential for maintaining mental and emotional balance. Take time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  6. Embrace change and growth. Instead of approaching the New Year with trepidation, consider it as an opportunity for personal development. Embrace change with a positive mindset, viewing challenges as stepping stones toward growth. Reflect on the lessons you learned during the past year and channel that wisdom into navigating the future with resilience and optimism.


The post-Christmas blues are a common experience, but with a proactive approach, they can be transformed into an opportunity for reflection, growth and connection. As you bid farewell to the holiday season, remember that the journey toward a positive and fulfilling New Year begins with self-compassion and the embrace of positive practices.

Anxious about your New Year's anxiety? Stressed about your holiday stress? Take this test to see how fearful you are of anxiety symptoms: The Anxiety Sensitivity Test

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