There’s something about returning from the holiday season and getting back into my daily routine that I don’t care for. Simply put, I don’t want to be responsible again. 

And who really wants to be responsible? Especially after indulging in an excess of food, seeing your loved ones, spending all your hard-earned money and binging Netflix. When all of this overindulging comes to a halt it’s difficult to confront what lies ahead in the new year. For me, I felt trapped in a drab space between holiday bliss and my future responsibilities. 

“Post-holiday blues,” they call it. I’m serious—Google it. You’ll see lots of articles published right after the new year telling you how to get back into your routine and tackle your resolutions. “Drink more water! Go to work an hour early! Set goals!” 

But what about when a list of to-do’s and how-to’s just doesn’t relate to you? Do we have to implement tips and tricks to get out of those post-holiday blues? 

Maybe we just need time to recover. Mental health is something that varies from person to person. I can drive to school and throw my hand up to participate and socialize with my peers. I can also then go home and wrestle with the idea of facing the year and the responsibilities ahead of me. I can shut myself off from the world. 

At first, I thought I was being overly lazy and tired. But I took the time to think about it. While I was really comfortable around friends and family, I was also questioned a lot about what my future holds after grad school. Being halfway through my master’s degree, it feels inevitable to worry about what could or could not possibly happen afterward. The feeling was daunting and stressful, so I reverted. I needed my own time to deal with these feelings. I reached out to a friend. I started to keep myself busy. But I did not ignore these emotions.

I don’t think there is one solid answer for how to get out of the blues, but I think it is important to take time for yourself and try to get in touch with your own feelings. Do whatever feeds your soul. Some people need to wallow for a while, and some people can find success with a tip like: “Get your day started extra early!” We’re all different, and we owe it to ourselves to take care of our mental health. 

It’s 2020. It’s time to actually be progressive about mental health. Be unapologetic about how you feel (as long as nobody’s feelings are tragically hurt) and don’t force yourself into anything you’re not ready for. 

A little over halfway through the month, I’m starting to figure it all out again. I just might be ready for responsibilities after all. 

In January, the Mastermind team is looking to highlight fresh starts. Be it the new year, a return from the holidays or the start of a new adventure, we’re hoping to bring you some content that can help set the tone for a bright year ahead. 

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