Does looking at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts around the holidays bring you joy or bum you out? If social media adds to your holiday cheer-great! If not, read these top coping tips.
Holiday Blues Coping Tips for Social Media Users (and Others)
- Get Real – Your friends are posting pictures of their wonderful outings, vacations, and family gatherings. When you’re alone and stuck at home, you may be tempted to fall into self-pity, or compare yourself to others. Don’t assume that what you see on the surface is the whole picture. The smiling family photos can’t capture the family dysfunction, holiday stress, and life drama that go on behind the scenes. Don’t believe that what you see on the surface is the whole picture. You have no idea of what lies underneath, appearances can be very deceiving.
- Get Determined to be Happy – Everyone has issues and money can’t buy happiness. Problems are relative – a spoiled brat can get as upset about something trivial as a needy child can about being hungry. It’s up to us to decide how happy we want to be. We shouldn’t let our happiness be dependent on things or other people. Make up your mind to be happy regardless of whether or not things are going your way. Acceptance and gratitude will go a long way in helping you to be happy.
- Get Grateful – Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do. If you have a roof over your head, clothes, heat, and food to eat, that’s plenty. Your health may not be perfect, but if you’re able to attend to your own bodily functions, think, see, hear, talk, walk, use your hands, remember those who are lying comatose or six feet under.
- Get Hopeful – We have little power over things outside ourselves. We have to accept that after we do our best, the rest is left to forces beyond our control. If you believe in God and trust Him to take care of you, you can have hope that all will be okay. If you’re not sure or doubt there is a God, you can remember that nothing stays the same forever. All it takes is one thing to happen one day, and you can see your whole life change overnight. You never know when that day will come, it may even be tomorrow. But if it isn’t tomorrow, don’t lose hope that it may be the day after, or the day after that, or after that.
- Get Out of the House – If you’re sitting in front of a pc during the holiday season, chances are that you’re not getting sunlight and could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For those of you in cloudy climates during the winter, you might ant to investigate light therapy products or build your own light box. If the social media posts aren’t helping your mood, take a break from the sites.
- Get Out of Yourself – Sometimes helping others is the best medicine for what ails us. If you’re up in your head and it’s a bad neighborhood to be in, thinking about others is a great way to escape our negative thoughts. Look up a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. If you can’t donate money, clothing, etc., you can ask about volunteering. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when people less fortunate surround you.
- Get Exercise – Exercise is a great ay to rid yourself of stress. You’ll also be helping your overall health, as well as burning off those extra calories in holiday treats.
- Get Sleep – We can tend to overdo around the holidays. Be sure to plan ahead so you can budget your time effectively and get proper rest. Lack of sleep can exacerbate stress and make it more difficult to manage. You’ll look and feel better when you get a good night’s sleep.
- Get Sober – Consuming alcohol as a coping mechanism can wind up making you feel worse. Alcohol is a depressant and hangovers aren’t fun. When our judgment’s clouded, we can say and do things that have negative consequences. Pouring liquor on top of your problems won’t help them, and may wind up only adding to them.
- Get Detached from Conflict – You know certain people are going to be unsupportive or push your buttons. Now is the time to avoid the people that have a toxic effect on your mental well-being. People tend to fall in one of to camps. They either are positive and uplift you, or are negative and bring you down. Decide who belongs to the latter camp and avoid them like the plague. Sometimes we have to deal with them, like when they’re family members or co-workers. Find ways to diffuse the conflict. For example, come up with some neutral responses, such as “I can see how you would feel that way” or “let’s discuss that another time.”
I hope you find these tips helpful. If not and you want to vent, feel free to leave a nasty comment. That’s fine with me if venting gets rid of your holiday blues. If there’s something you’d like to see on the blog next year, feel free to make a suggestion. I wish everyone the best in the new year.