I turn the corner and see more Christmas lights being stuffed in a box and my heart breaks a little more. My steps slow down trying to grasp the last bits of the holidays that remain.
Juggling the takeout and keys I finally get my apartment door open.
“Hello?” I say to my empty apartment.
Feeling silly I set the takeout down and get a tray. Flipping on the TV the news anchor continues with the next unwelcome news story.
Squeezing between the Christmas tree and the couch the tray knocks dry needles to the floor. I stand there staring at the needles changing colors on my socks from the blinking lights and reminding me of the kids rushing over to the tree to see which gift was theirs.
Settling down with my dinner I start flipping through the channels hoping to find something to take me somewhere other than my thoughts.
The holidays have passed but the stress of the holiday bills and loneliness can make the next few months depressing. Psychology Today gives more information on what causes post-holiday blues and some ways to combat it, click here to read their article.
With overindulging at holiday parties or because you were home alone, now is the time to start looking at self-care. You can begin with one of these easy self-care ideas from Healthline.com, click here to read the article.
Other ideas that could help you get over the post-holiday blues include:
- Start a new hobby, click here to read Huffington Post’s article.
- Start a new exercise routine, watch for local gyms, and online classes for New Year discounts.
- Re-read holiday cards and write thank you notes to reconnect to your loved ones.
- Call loved ones and friends
- Volunteer, click here to volunteer with Know a Vet?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (shorter days) may be adding to your feeling of depression, click here to read an article from the Mayo Clinic to learn about symptoms and treatments for this disorder.
Dealing with Post-Holiday Debt
Holiday bills add up from the last-minute gifts, the special toys for the kids, holiday food, and postage to get presents to family members on time when you sit down and add up how much you spent could be a shock.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), American consumer planned to purchase an average of $998 for 2020 Holiday Season, click here to read the press release. You may have spent more of your savings or went into more debt than you planned, click here to read how to get back on track financially from thebalance.com.
Starting a second job or side hustle could help you stay connected and earn some additional money to pay down debt, US New and World Report has steps to help you get out of debt, click here. Click here to read our previous article “Act II: Starting a New Career After Retirement”.
If you find yourself in a financial emergency click here to read the previous article from Know A Vet? Or visit Free Grants for Vets to see what additional resources are available to you Grants for veterans (freegrantsforveterans.org).
Visit Know A Vet? for a list of resources for a wide range of issues and resources by zip code. Your local VSO can help connect you to other veteran or civilian organizations. To find your local VSO visit Know A Vet? and put your zip code in the box toward the top of the home page for your local Federal, State and County resources.
Watch for future articles from Know A Vet? that will discuss education options for Veterans and their families.
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Wehrenber, M., (2020, January 4) Psychology Today. Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/depression-management-techniques/202001/7-tips-beat-the-post-holiday-blues
Marlow, A., (2019, April 18) Healthline. 10 Self-Care Strategies That Help Me Manage My Depression, Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/self-care-for-depression#9.-I-developed-a-relaxing-bedtime-routine
Gonzalez, D., (2020, December 30) Huff Post. Everything You Need To Take Up A New Hobby This Year. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/everything-you-need-to-take-up-a-new-hobby_l_5fd8dc87c5b690d5d30798f8
Mayo Clinic. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20364722
National Retail Federation, (2020, October 21) Consumers Prioritize Spending on Family, Friends Ahead of Holiday Season. Retrieved from https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/consumers-prioritize-spending-family-friends-ahead-holiday-season
Papandrea, D., (2020, December 31) The Balance. How to Quickly Pay Down Holiday Debt. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/quickly-pay-down-holiday-debt-5093806
Steinberg, S., & Snider, S., (2019, June 13) U.S. News and World Report. 10 Easy Ways to Pay Off Debt. Retrieved from https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/debt/articles/easy-ways-to-pay-off-debt