Don’t let the after-holiday blues rob you of the magic of the rest of the winter season.

Get ideas to help fight the post holiday blues for both you and your students.
The post-holiday blues are real! Get actionable ideas to fight the blues in your classroom.

“It’s just depressing. Nothing good happens in January.”

These are the thoughts one of my students shared on the first day after the winter holidays. I am sure you have heard the same and thought it yourself. I know I have. But listening to his words, I knew I wanted to help him change his mindset and learn to enjoy the season rather than focusing on what he felt was lacking.

Is the ‘post-holiday blues’ a real thing?

It is! You may even be affected by it and not even know it. I looked it up, and research says that people can become depressed after the holiday season is over and be filled with sadness or even disappointment. The articles I read said to be wary lest your temporary sadness give way to actual depression.

Additionally, there is another condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. People become sad and depressed with the loss of daylight hours and sunlight.  So, if you are struggling, you are not alone. This also means our students may be struggling with similar feelings (or even be influenced by adults at home who are struggling). 

Suggestions for conquering the holiday blues are to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, and maintain healthy habits. Some of these things are out of our control as classroom teachers, but there is a lot we can do to help ourselves and our students. I scoured the internet and found some ideas.

Ideas to help combat the winter blahs. 

Explain the reason for the winter season.
Explain the reason for the season. Use a globe to model the orbit and tilt. Knowledge is power.

Please don’t ignore it, acknowledge it. Hold a class meeting and talk about these genuine feelings. Share how this time of year may make you feel, and allow the students to share. Once you have shared, then acknowledge the need to make a plan to help combat these feelings. 

Remember to remind your little honest hearts that these feelings of sadness or depression are ok to have, but we don’t want to keep them around. Make a classroom plan. Children love to help, and this is a beautiful way to collaborate and create ways to keep your classroom happy and the students looking out for one another. Students can spot fake a mile away. Be honest with your students. If you are struggling, let them help. And let them be safe enough to ask for help, too. This is what classroom communities do; they look out for each other.  

Create a list of activities they could do in the classroom that would be fun during this time. Make it special. Highlight the time for activities that help build relationships, classroom community, and even snuggly fun. Lists could include:

  1. Learning origami
  2. Blocks, legos, tinker toys, or stacking cups
  3. Yoga (there is a lot of yoga for children on YouTube)
  4. Mindfulness (journaling and role play)
  5. Hot cocoa Fridays during read-aloud.
  6. Turn on a fireplace recording during different times of the day
  7. Play videos of winter walks through the trees, along frozen ponds and icy rivers, etc.


Explain the reason for the season. Get out a globe and explain the tilt and orbit around the sun and why winter happens each year. There is strength in knowledge. Knowing why something is happening makes it easier to be content with.

There is comfort in the patterns of nature. It will not last forever. It is just a season. 

Focus on what it is rather than what it is not. Winter is a time of rest for nature.

The trees rest before they burst forth in vibrant color in the spring. But there is still lots going on; look for the puffy birds flying around that look like they are wearing feathery coats. Baby animals like bears are born in their dens and snuggle with their mamas during this cold season. There are wilderness channels that offer live streams of bear dens. Go outside and nature journal with the students. Watch the same tree week after week and note the changes you see. Write them down or draw them.


Schedule out the rest of the year. Create learning goals for the remainder of the year with your students.

These goals can be classroom goals of things they would like to learn together and individual achievement goals for each student. Make a plan to reach the goals by the end of the year.  

Also, remember to write in the calendar of upcoming activities like field day, a spring field trip, or even a fun upcoming classroom project. Everyone needs to be able to look forward to enjoyable events in the future. (note: I focus on something other than the upcoming holidays or breaks since school breaks are not always a comfort for my students.)

Embrace the winter wonderland in your classroom.
Fill your classroom with the sights and sounds of the season.

Embrace your winter wonderland.  

  1. Hang up the sparkly snowflakes and happy snowmen.  
  2. Post winter words and vocabulary and use them in your speaking and writing. 
  3. Track the winter weather and keep a record of the data. Compare your city’s weather data to another town in a different part of the world. 
  4. Use the winter weather to inspire your students’ writing:

          Winter Poetry

         Creative Writing 

         Animal Research Projects

        Cold Weather Places and the animals that live there

        Nature Journaling

        How To Build a Snowman

Don’t let the after-holiday blahs rob you of the season’s beauty. Rest. Take care of yourself. Set goals for yourself and your students. Don’t fall into the trap of wishing your time away or longing for another place or season; embrace the wintry time and try to love it for what it is.

Model your behavior and reactions for your students.
Students watch you for your reactions. Model the reactions you want to see from your students.

The winter season can be as beautiful for you and your students as you want to make it. Remember to model your behavior and actions for your students to see. They are watching you. Help them find the magic of the season.

I hope this helps. Sending you lots of sunshine, warmth, and happy thoughts. Enjoy your January.


Thank you, teacher friend. Thank you for sharing your sunshine with your students and bringing your magic to the world. The world needs you.