So, you spent the last few days binge eating turkey, mashed potatoes and (the ever so aptly named) stuffing. You even spent a few hours basking in the glory of family, at least until the pleasantries expired and your mother-in-law opted to rearrange your living room… again.
The turkey and in-laws are gone, you’ve pulled out your holiday sweaters, returned the couch to its proper location, and now you’re back at the office—which means that Thanksgiving is officially over. I’m hear to talk to you about a serious issue that is sweeping our nation. We are experiencing the very first stages of an epidemic. A disease that will affect millions in the coming weeks.
That’s right, FOT Nation, I’m talking about PTDD:
Post Thanksgiving Depressive Disorder (PTDD): A mood disorder caused by a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in work activities, which one normally tolerates with a simultaneous desire to engage in holiday activities—therefore distinguishing it from seasonal affective disorders and other depressive syndromes.
Common symptoms of PTDD include:
- Obsessive and/or compulsive planning of remaining PTO, counting down the days until you set your out-of-office replies.
- Changes in appetite, accompanied by increased cravings for gingerbread, gelt, candy canes, and the like.
- Feelings of guilt, fixated on time spent on non-holiday related tasks.
- Feelings of jealousy directed towards colleagues who are on vacation.
- In extreme cases, victims may be found staring at holiday images in a catatonic, trance-like state.
If you, or someone you know is affected by PTDD, there is hope. While 100% of PTDD sufferers find relief sometime in the first week of January, there are steps you can take in the meantime to provide relief. Experts suggest the following 5 activities to keep yourself productive:
1. Keep a stash of holiday treats in your desk. Although limiting one’s intake is suggested to prevent weight gain.
2. Revisit those quarterly and annual goals you and/or your boss ever so diligently set for your bad self. Hopefully there are some items you can valiantly check off your list, categorized as glorious successes! Look at the incomplete items and figure out what you can do between now and Christmas to make meaningful progress.
3. Write (and actually send) ‘Thank You’ notes. To employees, to colleagues, to clients, to contractors, to your spouse. The world needs more thank yous and you’ll never go wrong.
4. Scrape the dust off that handy development plan. Apply the same ideas from the first item of this list. Tackling or planning something from your development plan is a good way to break up the monotony that is all too familiar this time of year.
5. Find a shadowy corner of your cube and do a little holiday shopping. After all, today is cyber Monday! Word on the street is J.Crew Factory is 50% off… just saying.
If you’re fighting the PTDD battle, there’s hope. You’re not alone; we’re all in this together.
Chelsea Rowe is the Leadership Development Consultant at Kinetix, where she is charged with creating a disruptive leadership development program that turns heads. She combines the science with practical hard-knocks lessons to turn managers from cat herders to kick-ass people leaders. Connect with her on LinkedIn to start a conversation or check out her blog at www.chelsea-rowe.com.