Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: How to un-suck the holiday season. Be the better person.


How to un-suck the holiday season. Be the better person.

Frankly, the holidays can go bite my left ear.

Although my level of seasonal depression fluctuates from year to year, 2013 has reached an all-time high of super suck. Sure I may be having a good time for a couple days out of these several weeks, with the food, hugs, well-wishes, etc. But really, regardless of how much I'm involved, there comes a moment when I'm here sitting by myself in some state of loneliness wondering why everything had to crash down on me at once right before the holidays. Perfect timing, huh?

Someday I'll find myself back on top, but where there are peaks, there are also valleys. Without going into too much detail about my personal ordeals, here are some tips that I've lived by to get through this time of the year. If this doesn't apply to you, kudos on your fortunate bouts of happiness and keep up the good cheer (and please pass it on to as many people as you can).

1. Stay busy. Do something productive that is enjoyable for you. The more you occupy yourself, the less time you'll have to think about what makes this time of the year depressing. I believe the quote goes, "An idle mind is a devil's workshop." Clean your house. Spend extra time with your pets. Randomly offer to clean someone else's house. Hit the gym and cardio your stress away. Go to your favorite retail stores and window shop for yourself. Start a blog! Post a bunch of stupid, funny pictures (use your common sense) on Facebook. The list goes on and on...these are just some of the things I've done in the last couple months. I believe this Sunday calls for Christmas cookie baking.

2. Stay positive. Wallowing in your own sorrow for a prolonged period of time is unhealthy, and you are much better than that. Use that energy and go out of your way to help someone else. Or at the minimum, be ready to do so. In my part of the world, it's freezing out here. Have an emergency blanket, hand warmers, snacks, and water in the car just in case. [On a side note, I have all that in addition to a 1 gallon gas can in my car this winter season. I hope that it ends up in someone else's gas tank, not mine.] Rough times usually direct me toward helping others. I know how it feels to be kicked to the curb and rejected from people you thought loved you (it happens to me more often than not), and it's a pain that I don't want anyone else to experience. Be an ambassador of goodwill and the positive vibes will be all around you.

3. If someone did you wrong and you can't do anything about it because they won't let you, don't give them the satisfaction of seeing you sad. Mentally erase this person and the memories of those actions with a smile and a cheerful demeanor. You can conquer the negativity that this person brought through his or her actions, selfishness, or cowardice. Instead, redirect your anger and resentment; be a beacon of light to others in these dark times. Many people in your community are hurting too, and sometimes a kind word can make someone's day or even save a life.

4. It is okay to cry. You're going to need to. I have to admit to doing that in front of my computer, in the driver's seat of my car, when I'm on the phone, and sometimes in front of the stove when I'm grilling my catfish. It's okay to release that tension. What's not okay is escaping what hurts by not confronting the issues at hand. It takes courage and maturity to deal with those problems, but believe me, it is worth it in the end.

5. You'll get through this time of year. Round up your army of friends and hang in there. I cannot thank all the friends all over the country who have helped me get through the day-to-day this entire year. You know who you are and I can never repay your love and generosity in this lifetime. But what I can be is a loyal friend right back, and that I shall be.

6. A strong person is one who will get help if he/she needs it. You are stronger than you think! So, if it gets really bad, get help! All is not lost.

Here are some online resources to get you started, regardless of how simple or complicated you think your problems are.

Blah Therapy - Vent to a random stranger or help someone vent their problems. Yes, I use this site in both ways:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

The Trevor Project:

If you're in a similar funk as me, I only hope your holidays un-suck soon. There is a silver lining to every cloud. For me, it's the strength to write this blog post in the hope of inspiring another person to fight on and move forward. Perhaps this new year will lend to more interesting surprises. But I do know that by taking care of myself, there is nowhere to go but up.