Post-Holiday Emotional Deflation
In South Platte Counseling’s ongoing blog series, “Mental Health and Me,” we invite one of our clients to write openly and anonymously about their mental health journey on a topic they’ve personally experienced. We are showcasing this series to help de-stigmatize the conversation around mental health. We want to let people know mental health is an individual journey and a ubiquitous life experience. With that being said, let’s read about one person’s experience with this week’s topic: the New Year blues.
Blue Monday, the so-called most depressing day of the year, is typically the third Monday of the month. It is supposedly the saddest day of the year due to a combination of bad weather, long nights, and the lingering aftermath of the festive period.
– Cygnet Health Care
I just learned about “Blue Monday,” and from my own personal experience, it’s very real for me. I can’t believe there was actually a name for it.
The way I feel about it, I’m not just talking about one day. I’m talking about days. “Blue Monday” is the culmination of everything, with a name for only one day. For me, it’s New Years Blues.
Let’s get to how my New Year Blues start.
The holidays are now over. Now what? I feel this deep sense of nothingness. Rewind a few weeks, and the impending holidays were bulldozing me like a swiftly advancing rising tide.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year. The decorating, the shopping, the card-sending, the parties I wanted to go to (the parties I went to that I didn’t want to go to), seeing family (avoiding family), cooking, cleaning, traveling, blah blah blah. Doing all of the “things” that “need” to be done.
Now there seems to be… nothing.
A new-years day quietness does come as a relief after the critical mass that is the end of the year holidays. It was a welcome exhalation of everything I’ve subconsciously been holding in. I no longer have to think to myself, “I just gotta get through this next thing/weekend/activity.”
At first, the slow down is welcome because of the lengthy ongoing hustle and bustle, and we’ve finally reached our destination. But now the decorations are put away – the house is quiet and empty, and I can’t help to feel that emptiness inside of me as well. The sparkly lights are put away, and the sparkle in me feels diminished, too.
There was so much of everything, and now it feels like there is so much nothing.
The quietness was welcomed. The emptiness was not.
To me, January feels like nothingness. It’s as if there’s no sound after so much noise at the holidays. It feels vacant after the holidays were so full.
I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. But, because there are so many of us, there is now a term for it, and a most depressing day of the year has been calculated. How about that.
This is just something that I manage in my mental health journey as I work with my therapist at South Platte Counseling. I know these feelings of hallow vacancy just tend to happen at this time of the year. However, I know they won’t last forever, and I’ll start to look forward to the new year soon instead of looking back at what was. What gives me comfort and encouragement is knowing I’m not alone in my struggles with the New Year’s Blues.