Be Careful with Social Media During the Holiday Season
It’s that time of year again. The radio stations have all the traditional Christmas songs in heavy rotation, stores are having so-called sales, fruit cake from last year is being brought back out to the shelves and the fake snow with Christmas lights are going up. Most of all, the social media outlets are booming with pics of holiday flexin’. Family gatherings and parties are being shared on everyone’s favorite platform.
Please be careful.
The holiday season can be tricky, to say the least. It’s supposed to be a happy time to enjoy family or things in life you want to appreciate and love. But in reality, it can easily be a depressing time for many people. If your ass has been kicked throughout the year, you’re not going to be in the greatest holiday mood and that’s okay. Like many others, you’re probably waiting for this season of commercialization and over the top fakeness to be over so that you can start fresh whenever you’re ready (I won’t say start fresh for the New Year because I think resolutions are a complete setup for failure, but I digress).
As you can probably tell, I myself am not too crazy about the holiday season. Traffic sucks, the stores stay packed and it’s historically a rough time of year for me. I’ve experienced the loss of loved ones, break-ups and typical family drama during the time of year where the days are short, and the nights seem endless. Painful reminders are all over the place, from certain songs on the radio to certain TV commercials, not to mention folks posting “happy” pics on their timeline of the jolly good time they’re having. They’re most likely having bad days and painful reminders too, but they’ll never share that on Instagram or Facebook. But I must say that over the years I’ve learned to manage all of this pretty well to the point where I can extend a helping hand to those who are really going through it this time of year.
Get that darn notebook out!
Look, Netflix can only do but so much for you, especially when you don’t feel like going to your uncle’s busted holiday dinner where everyone will work your last nerve trying to get into your personal business. Vent about any and everything with your pen and paper. Get creative and write up some crazy short-stories that may or may not make sense. Doodle, or whatever will help take your mind off of things or can help your mind detox from those things that may be brining you down.
Try to get out of the house.
Again, Netflix and Hulu will only take you but so far. Check out the local orchestra or wine-tasting event they may have near you. The other day I had an interesting conversation with someone who is one of the most negative people I’ve ever met. I roll my eyes when she comes around because they love to have huge pity parties for anyone who’ll listen. They never go anywhere or do anything. They just go to work, come home, eat, sleep and do it all again the next day. Ugh. Well, she was telling me that one evening she decided to step out of that box of misery and go hang out at a local restaurant and just chill by themselves…and they ended up meeting someone! The two have been inseparable ever since and I pray things work out between them because I don’t know how many more sob stories I can take. But I totally get where that person is coming from because in many ways, I used to be that person. I had to learn to step out again despite what had happened to me in the past. The best thing you can do is get out and move forward. Give yourself that emotional treat.
Surround yourself with the right kind of people.
I can’t tell you how important it is to have people around you who 1) Don’t feel sorry for you and 2) Won’t let you fall down the dark, endless abyss of depression and helplessness. This doesn’t mean rolling around twenty people deep everywhere you go. The smaller the circle, the better, and I’m saying that from firsthand experience – that’s another thing you can do with the pen and paper – make a list of whoever may need to stay in 2018. Face it, some of your “friendships” are toxic and only make things worse this time of year. Don’t be a hermit, but don’t become a doormat or emotional punching bag for people either.
Create your own foolery for social media
If you’re tired of seeing the constant flexin’ and Twitter rants on your phone, why not create your own content to share? When you decide to finally get off the couch and go to that wine-tasting or sports event, share it on the timeline. If you see something that’s uplifting and inspiring to you, chances are someone on Instagram will appreciate that as well. It’s so important to know how to spin negative situations into positive ones, making them work for you. I’ve seen different types of writing groups on Twitter where everyone will share poetry they’ve written and want to share with those folks online. It’s a positive atmosphere and everyone is basically encouraging. Whatever your interest is, there has to be someone online who shares that same interest and is just as tired of seeing fake engagement pics or political rants just like you are.
Don’t let social media stress you out or bring you down this holiday season. Take control of your happiness and make it work for you. Here are some of the folks or groups I enjoy that are far away from the madness of the masses:
Greatest I Am Blog @Greatest.I.Am.Blog – a great resource on Seasonal Affective Disorder and encouraging posts.
#writingcommunity – you’ll connect with some positive people who love to share the ins and outs of writing, how it heals and how powerful it can be.
Other important resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 – you can call and text with someone 24 hours a day.
The time spent doing these things will help occupy your time and you won’t find yourself scrolling through everyone’s timelines that will only make you sad and withdrawn.
P.S. If they play that darn Hershey Kisses Christmas Tree commercial one more time…