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How to Survive Post-Holiday Depression Without Crawling Inside a Bottle of Jack Daniel's

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Now that you've had a day or two to decompress from the holidays, you may be struck, like many of us are, with a touch of post-holiday melancholy. Maybe it's having to go from home-cooked meals back to your regular diet of Cheetos, vodka, and cigarettes. Or maybe it's the stack of paperwork you've neglected due to the franticness of the season. This weekend, New Year's Eve may give you a quick pick-me-up, but as soon as that's over, winter glumness will surely set in again. (If you weren't down before, you probably are now. Sorry about that.) But there's no need to spend the next few weeks drinking yourself into a month-long black-out. We here at Cultist have helpful hints on how to kick those blues.

Apologize for Any Holiday Transgressions

Chances are you spent the holidays with your family, which likely means that at some point in the proceedings, you did something to piss off or offend someone. Maybe a spirited debate over who won the third season of Bret Michael's Rock of Love turned into a curse-filled shouting match at the Olive Garden. Or maybe your friendly teasing of your sister's new boyfriend devolved into casual anti-Semitism the more you drank.

A great deal of alleviating post-holiday depression is owning up to the mistakes you made. Or better yet, seeming like you are owning up to your mistakes. Your apology should be one part mea culpa to four parts justification. Explain how tough the holidays are for you and how stressed you've been. Eventually your aggressor will wind up feeling bad for confronting you and you will be absolved of any wrong-doing. Don't forget to passive-aggressively goad others into confrontations as well!

Return Unwanted Gifts

Having a big stack of crappy gifts that you didn't want only serves to fuel post-holiday depression. If you got an Affliction hoodie instead of that J. Crew sweater you wanted, get it out of your sight ASAP. This means returning it to the store it was purchased at for cash. or store credit. Worse case scenario, your gift giver did not include the receipt and also cut off the tags, which means you were given a gift by an asshole and likely a cheap one at that. You cannot return this gift to the store.

This is when having neglected, illegitimate children comes in handy. Not only will they be so thankful for your token display of affection that they won't question the gift's quality or appropriateness, but you can also explain to your kid that the gift counts as a Christmas and birthday gift. They'll be too busy playing with their new pair of irregular-sized JNCO jeans to understand that they've been tricked. See you next January, squirt!

Participate in Charitable Activities

Maybe you took time out of consuming obscene quantities of evrything this holiday season to give back to those less fortunate than you. Surprisingly enough, it turns out that charitable organizations actually need volunteers all year round. And yes, helping out the needy does put your problems in perspective. But more importantly, helping the needy gives you something to lord over others and make them feel bad about themselves.

When some guy at your office begins to brag about spending a long weekend in Montauk you can just sigh and explain how rewarding spending your free time volunteering at the pediatric hospital is. Try to volunteer in fields where there is a high visibility factor. Sorting donated clothes in a backroom is a no go. Remember, charity is about making you feel better.

Find Other Holidays to Celebrate

If all else fails and you cannot get out of your post-holiday funk, you can always desperately cling to a variety of lesser-known holidays. Invite friends over to ring in Quebec's Flag Day on January 21st. Or if you like your holidays with a touch of solemnity, remember the 1964 riots over sovereignty in the Panama Canal on January 9th with Martyr Day. Many cultures celebrate a slew of holidays equivalent to Christmas throughout the Winter, so you can pound spiked eggnog and leave your tree up well into March before people start looking at you cross-eyed.

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