Decluttering to Fight those Post Holiday Blues

We’ve reached the end of “The most wonderful time of the year.”  So why do some of us feel spent, lonely and a little sad? A 2015 study showed as many as 64% of us suffer from some form of post holiday depression. The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years Eve triggers our stress hormones almost constantly.  Then, Jan 1st, they suddenly drop.  This coupled with the perhaps unrealistic expectations of what the holidays should have been leads to a low mood to start the new year. Not to mention, there’s often quite the mess of holiday clutter (perhaps even from holidays past) to manage when the fun is done!

Start your 2023 off right with these tips to help you avoid the post holiday depression trap:

Self Care
Yoga, meditation, even a coffee date with a friend or warm bath can soothe your soul after the marathon of holiday events.  It’s important to take a break from the holiday hustle but not isolate.  Make sure to have a few events – no matter how small – on the calendar to look forward to in January.
Eating right will help your mood tremendously.  Getting rid of candy, cookies, and all the things we all have too much of over the holidays is a helpful tip to encourage smart eating. Cut up vegetables once a week to have ready for snacking.

Repetitive, predictable routines are soothing and cut down on any stressful decision making where there is an environment of uncertainty.  Anyone with children knows the bedtime routine is “sacred” and rarely disrupted without good reason! And just as routine helps children feel safe and secure, the effect is the same on adults.
When our body takes over to perform the habits that make up a routine, and stress of the unknown is eliminated, our mind can rest and be more open to creative thought, wonder and possibility.

Realistic Goals
After 6 months, less than half the people who made New Year’s resolutions have kept them.  Part of the problem is planning or lack thereof.  It’s important to think about the smaller parts that make up the big resolution.  Create a doable pathway to success via smaller goals (i.e. rather than “I want to drop 50 pounds”, instead “I want to lose 2 pounds a week”).
Be sure not to make too many resolutions at once.  The general rule is to make as many as you can count on one hand.  Any more than that is setting yourself up for failure.

Declutter your space
Studies have consistently shown that clutter can trigger those stress hormones just like the holidays. The only difference? Clutter can follow us year round! Organizing your space helps your brain to process the environment more quickly and items will be easier to find. You can begin decluttering while putting away your holiday decor. Note items that are old and worn out or items you didn’t display this year (maybe you lack the space or they just aren’t your style any longer).  Donate or throw those items away now – don’t put it off until next year. And when you’re done with the decorations? Perhaps it’s time to tackle the clutter in the office, closet, or garage and get organized. Remember to focus on just one room and think about it’s main purpose. It’s helpful to utilize empty containers for items to donate, items for trash, and items for a different room.

Clutter can be overwhelming and you might need professional help. There are countless books on the subject. We recommend starting with “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.

If you’d prefer a little help or just need a bit of a kick-start, our team at Silver Linings Transitions specializes in organizing and downsizing all spaces. We can organize your room for you or stand side by side with you to conquer that clutter for good.  Whichever you decide, we provide quick, compassionate, expert help wherever you need it. 

Our team does what we can to  “Change Your Clutter into Cash” combining de-cluttering and home organizing with the best strategy to sell any items of value – which might even pay for some or all of our organizing.

Silver Linings Transitions hosts an ongoing Downsizing Support Group on the third Thursday of each month.  Our lunch and learn series combines resources and accountability helping you take on your “to dos”.  Click here to learn more about this in person downsizing group in San Diego which meets on January 19 at 11:30 a.m..