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  • Writer's pictureHenriette Johnsen

Post holidays blues

It doesn't have to be a full blown depression to be challenging. Whether you celebrated Christmas or not, following a month with lights, music and festivitas just about everywhere, January seems darker, wetter, colder and more windy than possible. As if that wasn't bad enough, Blue Monday is coming up, and many lose sense of direction, feel sluggish and start wondering if they weren't meant for hibernation rather than having to dig really deep to make it through the winter months.

For expats and immigrants, holidays can be challening. For financial reasons, many don't make it home to their loved ones; and sitting in one's host country knowing one's loved ones are spending the holiday together back home can be heart wrenching indeed.

If you have been back home, you may feel in dire need of another break to recuperate from the manic of spending your holiday catching up with friends and family. As lovely as it is to reunite with people back home - and it really is - it's hard work. Furthermore, returning to one's host country after a lovely break at home can also be testing and instigate feelings of severe homesickness.

Either way, when feeling tired and low, it's easy to fall into feelings of self-blame, despair and depression. If you do feel the holiday blues, it's time for self-compassion, patience and looking after yourself in terms of eating well, exercising sensibly and clocking as much daylight as possible as well as creating some healthy sleeping patterns. Also, reach out to other people; they might feel the same and company will do you both good.

January will pass, but if you find your blues don't, it may be time to consult your GP and/or a therapist. When the weather does its worst, it's easy to feel sorry for one's self. This is okay, for a shorter period of time. What is not okay, if left untreathed, are feelings of rejection, abandonment and isolation; feelings of homesickness, despair and depression. These emotions are trying to tell you something about your life that your rational self isn't seeing; and gaining a greater understanding of your patterns and reactions can help you work through not only the darker times of winter, but the darker times of your life.

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