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Barbara Greenberg

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Santa Went Home. Now What?

Posted: 12/21/11 09:09 PM ET

We start preparing for the holidays in the Fall. Almost every conversation involves an exchange about how your holiday plans are coming along. In fact, I was in the dentist's chair with a drill in my mouth when my dentist asked if I had finished my holiday shopping. I gave him the thumbs up. I hadn't completed my holiday shopping but with a drill in my mouth I felt very agreeable.

We talk about the holidays for months. We hunt down hard-to-find gifts. We bake, cook, and travel to see family and friends. In other words, for about three months we are in holiday mode. Keep in mind that Christmas/Hanukkah are not simply a single event but rather a series of events that lead up to a single event. They are, in terms of the build-up factor, sort of like a marriage or a divorce depending, of course, on your holiday experience.

Once you've exchanged gifts, sent the kids back to school, and fall back into post-holiday daily life, you and yes your kids, are at risk for the "post-holiday" blues. This irritability, sense of loss, and feeling let down, may be a result of several factors including:

1. Exhaustion.

2. Separation Anxiety. Having to say good-bye to family and friends and college students can be very sad especially if you enjoyed each other.

3. Returning to work and experiencing the end of vacation.

4. Returning to school if you are a child, teen, or college student, and experiencing the end of a nice break.

5. Taking note of the shorter days and colder weather.

So what's a parent to do to help yourselves and your kids deal with these feelings?

1. How about finding a bit of magic in every day so that you don't have to wait a whole year?

2. Savor the memories and talk about them throughout the year.

3. Create a scrapbook that you can look at together during those cold and dark days ahead.

4. Get back on a good sleep/healthy eating schedule. Everyone feels better when they are well-rested and eating in a healthy manner.

5. Focus on what you have to look forward to each week not just next year.

Good Luck and Happy Post-Holiday Season!

 

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