Christmas can be a lonely and depressing time for many people in today’s society. The sometimes-overly-forced seasonal emphasis on good cheer, conviviality, and harmonious holiday gatherings with friends and family can often bring those people like me, with less than Instagram-perfect lives, down. And yes, I am one of those people who sometimes struggles at Christmastime.
Nika Talaj made the following wise observation on a recent thread in the official Second Life user forums:
SL is all about longing … often for things we lost in RL (real life). Longing for the body we lost years ago, longing for the dance moves we don’t have, longing for the perfect partner, longing for our own home. And Christmas, for many of us, also brings up feelings of loss and longing.
So, what can you do if you have a case of the Christmas blues? Here are 14 tips from the Health.com website:
- Make plans ahead of time: Spend some time figuring out how to take care of yourself during this time, and be sure to schedule those activities.
- Avoid family conflict as much as possible
- Focus on the good: Especially the good people in your real and virtual lives.
- Forget about trying to be perfect
- Learn how to grieve: This is particularly important if this is your first Christmas without a loved one. Talk about your feelings or reach out to support groups in your community.
- Don’t skimp on sleep
- Limit social media consumption: Social media, where everybody seems to be having a better time than you, can often increase feelings of sadness and loneliness. Get off Facebook and other social media sites, or limit their use over the holidays.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it: here’s a list of helpful resources.
- Make exercise a priority
- Consider your light exposure: In the Northern hemisphere, especially if you live closer to the North Pole as I do, the lack of daylight can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you think you may be suffering from SAD, talk to your doctor about treatment options. I have a SAD lamp which I use when I am feeling depressed.
- Make other plans: Deliberately plan and do some non-holiday things.
- Focus on what matters: It’s not all about the Christmas presents.
- Don’t binge on food or alcohol
- Cut back on your commitments: It’s OK to say “no” once in a while.
I hope that this list of tips is helpful to you this holiday season. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any other tips you want to share, thanks!