10 Tips for Avoiding Post-Holiday Blues

woman resting from housework

This past Thanksgiving, after I hugged and kissed my daughter and two granddaughters a dozen times each, I stood at the curb waving goodbye until they were out of sight. As I walked back into the house, I could feel the familiar letdown creeping over me. Now it was time to face the clean up from our fabulous four-day visit. I joked to my husband that our house looked like Hurricane Juliet and Amelia had blown through—every room was in different degrees of disarray.

I surveyed the piles of library books, sofa cushions, hula hoops and bed linens. Just as I was about to sink into sadness, I realized that I could shift my perspective. Instead of hurrying to put everything back in place, I decided to relive the memories of the fun we had creating those piles. Rather than seeing them as disorder, I saw them as stories for the journal that I’ve been keeping since my granddaughters were born.

As I replaced the sofa cushions, I savored the memory of my granddaughters’ laughter while they chased each other back and forth across the sofa. Putting away the hula hoops made me smile as I pictured little Amelia wiggling her tiny, almost two-year old body in the middle of that enormous hoop. Finding little foil-wrapped treasures in my desk drawers reminded me how much fun a five year old can have with things from the kitchen.

My mood completely shifted and I thought of nine more ways to stave off those post-holiday blues after your grandchildren leave. Here are the ten ways I found useful to avoid post-holiday blues.

How to Avoid Post-Holiday Blues

  1. Relive the memories.
  2. Thank the people you visited by phone, note or email.
  3. Take a walk and focus on a different one of your senses as you go.
  4. Call a friend who lives alone.
  5. Sit down with one of your favorite crossword puzzles.
  6. Write down ten things you’re grateful for.
  7. Make turkey soup.
  8. Call a friend and swap Thanksgiving stories.
  9. Watch a movie—preferably something funny.
  10. Get back to one of your other passions.

Savoring the precious memories of your visit will lift your spirits and help you out of that inevitable place of transition after the family leaves. Then of course, you can get back to your “other” life and enjoy all your other passions!


  1. Lee says

    These are great tips. I’m very fortunate, because I see my grandkids weekly. I babysit them two days a week. Still I go through my withdrawals, especially in summer, when I have them at my house for long periods of times. When they leave I put my house back together, but it seems so empty and quiet. My husband and I just stand look at each other, like, okay what do we do now?
    I heard about this site from a friend. It looks like a lot of fun.