After a much-needed break, you now face the reality of life getting back to business as usual (albeit COVID-normal business as usual). 

Post-holiday blues refers to those first few glum days you face once you’ve returned home and/or back to work after a break, and while it may not be a serious condition like depression, you may certainly feel flat.

After such a tough year, it may not even be that you’ve returned from a holiday or weekend away – you could simply be feeling down about the end of the festive season and the enjoyment of being able to see family and friends in person again. The level of sadness and disappointment is the same, and now you face everyday (though still COVID-affected) life and whatever 2021 has in store.

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The good news is, is you're not alone – most of us feel like this at some point in our lives – and these feelings will likely pass once you get back into the swing of things. Here are some helpful tips for easing back into everyday life. 

  • Don’t force yourself to forget about the good times – look at all your favourite pictures and videos from your break. Relive those treasured moments in your head over and over. Give yourself time to process everything that happened and then commit as much of it as you can to memory.
  • Talk about it – share your happy memories from the break with family and friends and encourage them to share their own experiences with you. It's been an incredibly tough year, so it’s important to celebrate the wonderful holiday moments you've managed to enjoy. 
  • Plan your next thing to look forward to – plan your next break or fun outing but remain flexible and open to the fact that current times mean that even the best-laid plans may have to be cancelled or changed. Now more than ever, be cautious – don’t make big financial decisions straight away and consider what is realistic and sensible given we're still living during a global pandemic. 
  • Use your memories to inspire and encourage you to keep looking ahead – be thankful for all the past wonderful adventures you've enjoyed in your life. It may sound cheesy but every time you feel down, consider, or even write down how fortunate you are to have seen and done what you have.

If you continue to feel flat well into the new year and feel it may be down to more than post-holiday blues, don’t hesitate to seek help.

The Beyond Blue online forums are a great way to connect with people online in a safe and anonymous environment. Discussion topics cover anxiety, depression, suicide, and a range of other life issues. Anyone in Australia can participate in discussions, connect with others, and share their experiences with our community.

If you need assistance visit 
Beyond Blue’s support services. Our mental health professionals are available 24/7 on: 1300 22 4636. Click here for a web chat (3pm-12am AEST). Alternatively, contact us via email (responses within 24 hours).

For immediate support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and in an emergency, always call triple zero (000).

Related reading: Depression vs sadness

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