Five ways to beat the post-holiday blues

The first Monday of the New Year is now “Blue Monday.” Blue Monday is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, when poor weather conditions, increased debt levels, failed resolutions, and having to return to work and school following a lengthy vacation leaves folks feeling the lowest they’ll feel all year.

The event dates back to 2005, when a researcher at Cardiff University created an equation that claimed that the third Monday in January combined all of the things people generally don’t like in such a way as to create pretty much the worst day of the year. Scientifically speaking, it wasn’t very scientific, and the research was commissioned by a travel agency (so take it with a handful of salt). Recently a protein drink company in the UK commissioned further research utilizing Twitter and, after examining over 2 million tweets over the last three Januarys, found that people claimed to be their very most miserable on that first Monday after the holidays. Thus a slightly revised Blue Monday was born.

Shady science aside, the period after the holidays is hard. The aftermath of any big, exciting event is difficult as you transition back into your normal routine. Plus, once the gifts are unwrapped all that’s left is the debt. So it’s easy to see why anyone would be down this time of year. But you don’t have to succumb to the post-holiday blues. Here are five ways to stay positive and pro-active during the January doldrums.

  1. Create your debt plan of attack. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed into paralysis by your new holiday debt. Get organized and create a solid plan to have your debt handled quickly. If you need help creating a new budget or dealing with your debt, give us a call. Knowing that you’ve got a plan will take a lot of the burden off your shoulders.
  2. Give yourself a winter project. Stay busy and the blues won’t have a chance to catch up to you. Take on a personal project this month – re-organize that closet, create a holiday scrapbook, start working on that novel you’re always putting off. Find something you can truly, happily invest yourself in and the winter will melt away.
  3. Plan your next gathering. Part of the fun of the holidays is the anticipation of seeing loved ones and having fun together. Don’t wait until next December to get together again! Make plans for a spring or summer gathering. You might not be able to see each other again right away, but putting something on the calendar gives you something else to anticipate.
  4. Sell, return, or donate. January’s a great time to take stock of your “stuff.” Coming out of the holidays, you may have some new clothing or household items, so it’s a perfect time to sort everything out and see what you don’t need. If you’re concerned about debt, now’s the time to look into reselling some of those items you don’t need. If debt’s not a concern, you can donate unwanted items to charity. Either way it helps keeps you busy and your closets from overflowing.
  5. Celebrate the weather. Hey, snow and ice and rain aren’t many people’s idea of great weather, but winter only comes once a year, so celebrate it! Make the most of the wintry weather – go sledding, go skiing, drink hot chocolate, all that fun stuff. It’ll be summer again before you know it, so cherish the season while it’s here.

Jesse Campbell photo.

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI, with over ten years of experience creating valuable educational materials that help families through everyday and extraordinary financial challenges.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Candid GuideStar Gold Transparency level 2022 Candid
    MMI has achieved a Gold Seal of Transparency by Candid (formerly GuideStar), a leading source for insights on thousands of nonprofit organizations. For decades, Candid has provided data that powers hundreds of websites, programs, and applications related to philanthropic giving in order to help grantors make informed decisions.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.