News & Insights 27 January 2023

Post-holiday blues don’t need to be as tough this year

The third Monday in January is commonly labelled “Blue Monday” and is supposedly the saddest day of the year. Whilst this idea is probably a myth, many of us feel the impact of the cold, dark days that follow the festivities of the winter holiday season. The term ‘post-holiday blues’ refers to temporary feelings of depression and anxiety during and after the holiday period (Foundry, 2022), with symptoms including loneliness and isolation, sadness, stress, and frustration. In fact, 64% of people report being affected by post-holiday depression mainly caused by the emotional and physical stress of the season (Psycom, 2021).

The reason for this may lie behind the fact that during the holiday season ‘regular’ life is usually interrupted. Once we get back to our normal routines, the brain tends to exaggerate realities of daily life and make the return to the mundane seem more anxiety-inducing and depressing than it actually is (Psycom, 2021). This is why it is very important to take care both of your physical and mental health during that ‘return to normal’ period.

Taking care of your health is extremely important especially if you are struggling with ‘post-holiday blues’. The good news is that there is a way of alleviating the feelings of anxiety and depression during that challenging period.

One of the best ways of taking care both of your body and your mind is through physical activity (Pearce et al., 2022; Reiner et al., 2013; Saxena et al., 2009). Even small doses of physical activity can help you lower the risk of depression and benefit your mental wellbeing. And, you don’t have to do vigorous intensity physical activity in order to feel the benefits of movement (Pearce et al., 2022).

Introducing regular physical activity into your everyday routine can help you manage the symptoms of ‘post-holiday blues’. This can look different for different people. Some may enjoy going for a walk outside, some prefer to stay home and do the housework, and for others, it is something entirely different. What matters is that you engage in activities that you enjoy doing and that would make you feel happy. Sometimes simply having something to look forward to, whether that would be cooking, walking your dog or going for a coffee with a friend, enhances your mood and benefits your well-being, adding to the benefit of actually doing the planned activity (Psycom, 2022).

Many of our clients at KiActiv® have shared the positive impact that physical activity has had on how they feel:

“Walking in the evening helps with my mental wellbeing and lets me destress (Female, 20-years old)”

“I spent the day tidying up the house and I was in a better mindset because I was doing stuff (Female, 25-years old)”

“I feel more positive about small achievements (leading to changes) and this programme helped me to realise this (Female, 44-years old)”

“I changed my way of thinking, I started thinking positively (Male, 45-years old)”

I am feeling better in myself and about my health (Male, 54-years old)”

“It has changed my mental attitude (Male, 92-years old)”

As well as gaining an understanding of their everyday physical activity, KiActiv® Health clients have the opportunity to keep a record of both how they feel physically and emotionally by having 24/7 access to the tools and visualisations on their personal online dashboard. If you would like to make a positive change to your health you can click here to sign up and start taking control of your physical and mental wellbeing. If you are also interested in how to start creating healthy habits, you can click here to read one of our previous blogs on this topic.

The KiActiv® Team