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Simple Activity Plan Can Help with Post-Holiday Blues

The post-holiday blues is common following all of the planning and anticipation from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. After a traumatic injury, these blues can increase even more, said Teresa Ashman, Ph.D., director of neurorehabilitation psychology at Shepherd Center.

“The holidays are often a time of family visits, and once the season ends, people can be left with limited social support,” she explained. “One way to accommodate these sad feelings is to create a simple activity plan aimed at improving energy, diet, and mental and physical health with the ultimate goal of increasing overall life satisfaction.”

Dr. Ashman suggests adding one new activity to your week to begin making steps to decrease post-holiday and winter blues and increase a sense of purpose.

Also, be aware that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is common this time of year because of the cold weather and shorter days that decrease the amount of light exposure that people get, Dr. Ashman said.

“Direct sunlight is still necessary, so take advantage of any bright and warmer days, and try to go outside for a few minutes even when it is cold outside,” she added. “The best way of countering the effects of reduced sunlight is to spend time in front of evidence-supported light therapy lamps.”

For a related article on SAD and post-holiday blues, click here.

For more information on psychological services available at Shepherd Center, you may call 404-350-7553.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.