You’re on your own, alone, and you turn on the TV for company and immediately get a case of holiday depression. There, on the screen for the 16th time during the week, is “It’s A Wonderful Life.” If you think you’re going to scream if you see this movie one more time during the holidays, you’re not alone.
Realistically, in a nation where an estimated 27 percent of the children are living in a single-parent household, the notion of mom, dad and the grandparents sitting around the table may not always be possible.
Remember, too, most of the holiday movies that are repeated increasingly on television were made in the late 1940s and ’50s. These movies represent traditional values, but not necessarily contemporary lifestyles and families.
Yes, the holidays can be a terrible time to be alone. But here are some tips on how to avoid holiday depression:
• Don’t “overdose” on all the advertising. When it comes to gifts, it’s still the thought that counts.
• If you’re on your own, you can schedule activities or an informal party for both your married and single friends to share. Don’t isolate yourself. Isolation will only add to your holiday depression.
• If estranged from family members, make an effort to forgive them and then forgive yourself. Send a card or make a phone call.
• The holidays are wonderful times to create new memories through creative activities with children and family.
• Consider joining a church, synagogue or mosque. Religious observance is a comfort to many.
• Make plans for the next year. Set goals for yourself.
• Volunteer to help others less fortunate.
• If really in the dumps, consider joining a support group to deal with the specific problem you share with others.
• Remind yourself that things are never as bad as they seem when you’re down.
• Remember, your life is a gift itself.