Three ways to fight the post-Mardi Gras blues

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS – We whirled through Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations with the promise of Mardi Gras on our radar.

Our city, always drenched in brilliant purple, green and gold during Carnival season, wears an extra sheen of grandeur due to the ongoing tricentennial celebrations.

And then Cupid flew in to spread the love on Valentine’s Day, keeping the champagne corks popping and giving us another reason to keep celebrating.

It won’t be long before the St. Patrick’s Day festivities grab our attention, filling the streets with men marching in kilts, green beer and floats off-loading cabbages, carrots and lemons galore. But until we all turn Irish for a day, how can we fight the post-Mardi Gras blues?

Here are three ideas:

Plan a Vacation:  Just knowing there’s an exciting escape to look forward to can help lift one’s spirits. In fact, one Dutch study showed that planning a vacation boosts the psyche for up to eight weeks, and was even more effective in creating happiness than the actual holiday itself!

You can read the details from the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

Cash in those frequent flyer miles for something exotic, consider visiting relatives who live in another climate, or simply plan a road trip along the Gulf Coast. Remember, the planning alone is a step toward recovery!

100985404Do Some Good: Help yourself by helping others when you donate your Mardi Gras haul to companies that will recycle and re-purpose the beads and baubles. One such organization is ArcGNO, a Metairie-based company with multiple locations that accepts Mardi Gras donations year-round.

There are countless psychology studies that say philanthropic acts result in an improved sense of well-being. You felt the adrenaline rush when masked krewe members answered your call to “throw me something, mister (or sister!)”  Pay it forward and you’ll get another rush, courtesy of what researchers call the “helper’s high.”

Keep Celebrating:  Fortunately for Nola residents, there’s always another celebration around the corner.

Beyond St. Patrick’s Day, the music lineup for Jazz Fest is incredible, and before that we have French Quarter Fest to brighten our party horizon.

Plus, between concerts and parades, there are all kinds of events happening in honor of the city’s tricentennial.

If you want to fill your calendar with culture, check out the tricentennial website.