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Monday Mom challenge: Prepare now for post-holiday letdown

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Unwind, don’t unravel

Just how tightly are you wound right now? How much do you have to get done before the holiday is upon us? Thought so. Me, too. Sure, there’s excitement and joy. There’s also expectation, stress, pressure -- whatever you want to call it -- and hopefully when it’s all over, a feeling of release mixed with the happiness of the holiday. When it’s all over, there’s going to be letdown. Whether that holiday letdown segues into some post-holiday blues, however, depends on how you plan for it. Yes, plan for the post-holiday letdown.

woman feeling holiday blues

Just as with every big event -- a wedding, a graduation or other celebration -- there's a letdown period afterward. Considering ways to ease the transition between super-busy and far-less-busy can help the post-holiday feel more like an unwinding of the stress rather than a complete unraveling from the pressure.

Make a plan

As busy as you are with holiday preparations, make a plan now for your post-holiday. You may think you just want to stop in your tracks and relax, but after this level of activity, it may take some time for you to be able to relax. Yes, plan for the down time, but also plan a couple of light activities, whether it's an outing with the kids, lunch with a close friend or even reorganizing something, like a closet. Step down the activity rather than going cold turkey.

Triple the communication

Now is the time to increase communication about post-holiday plans and expectations -- and even pre-holiday events and expectations. Be absolutely clear about whatever it is that you need to communicate by communicating in threes: say when you are going to communicate something, communicate it, reiterate it. That way, you head off surprises both before and after the big day. When everyone is on the same page about what is going to happen, things run a whole lot more smoothly.

Take a break now

Yes, even amid the frenzy, you need a few minutes here and there NOW to help head off major letdown issues later. Yes, you do. Whether it's five minutes to breathe deeply and do some yoga stretches to loosen up that tight neck, or an hour with your girlfriends at a local restaurant to let off steam about the in-laws, take a break. Releasing some of the holiday pressure now will make it easier to unwind after the holiday.

Letdown after the holiday is going to happen. With some planning, you can make it a gentler letdown for all of you.

Read more about holiday blues

5 Ways to beat the holiday blues
How to beat the winter blues
6 Tips to beat the winter woes

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