My holiday hangover

By: Alison Dunn Jan 18, 2010

It’s right about this time in January that my very own “holiday hangover” seems to kick in. By that, I don’t mean a literal hangover (because – ahem – I’ve never had one of those!), but rather a sense of sadness that seems to creep up over me when the holidays are over. I can usually avoid it in the first few weeks of January because I’m all caught up in the back-to-school/back-to-work routine, but by mid-January, the blahs really start to set in.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling these winter blues. The long, cold winter stretches out in front of us, and spring seems so far away. Couple that with a few extra bills thanks to holiday over-indulgence, and you have a recipe for sadness.

But while winter blues are normal, they really can get out of control. How can you tell if you just have the blahs or something more? Why not check out Primacy contributing editor Michelle Morra’s article on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this week on Primacy Life? It turns out that for some people, the winter blues might be a bit more than just that.

I know for me, part of my malaise after the holidays is caused by food. After weeks of parties, Christmas cookies, wine, turkey dinners and dessert, I think my body goes into a bit of shock when January hits and I resolve to eat healthier. (Okay, I know I shouldn’t go off the rails so badly in December!) That, too, contributes a bit to my own holiday hangover.

And don’t forget those bills. I managed to stick to my own holiday budget (for the most part) this year, but somehow money always seems a little bit tighter in January. That generally means there’s not quite enough money to splurge on any “pick-me-ups” this month, which again contributes to the blues. If you’re guilty of overspending during the holidays, you should check out our interview with TV personality and financial expert Alison Griffiths this week in our Lifestyle section. She’s got some great advice for tackling that debt head-on, which will go a long way to improving your outlook this January.

With all this great advice, I know I’ve resolved to make the most of January. I’ve paid off those lingering holiday bills and I’m planning a great escape for my family so we don’t spend the rest of this winter in the doldrums. (There will be more on that in the coming weeks!) I’m also making sure I get plenty of exercise this winter, and have even started training for a marathon this spring. Bring on the winter, I say! There’s plenty of excitement left even if the holidays are over.

A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Alison’s work has appeared in a number of top Canadian publications, including glow, Oxygen, Canadian Running and more. She is the former editor of a number of well-respected Canadian and American trade journals and recipient of a Kenneth R. Wilson Gold Award of Excellence in feature article writing. She is a part-time faculty member at Sheridan College’s journalism department, as well as an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.