…or, heck, the election blues, given the reactions across the country in the last 48 hours.

What follows comes from a post on the old website, which I wrote after I suffered my own bout of holiday sadness. These 7 steps helped me get out of it–or at least the initial prevented the blues from getting worse.

That being said, these methods are for dealing with the holiday blues, not necessarily full blown depression. 

  • If you feel you’re depressed, talk to somebody.
  • If you know somebody going through depression, be there for them.
  • Don’t try to “tough it out,” seek profession help.

If you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

  • It’s free and confidential: don’t wait to see if you feel better, call now.
  • If you know somebody else contemplating suicide, you can still call that number for help.

And now with that caveat out of the way, here are the 7 ways gamers can beat the holiday blues:

1.Use your Gaming Talents to Serve others.

  • Introduce somebody new to gaming, or help a newbie.
  • Volunteer at your local gaming store to run an event.
  • Run a game, even if haven’t run a game before, even if the players are total strangers.
  • Paint some miniatures and give them as a gift.
  • Give–yes, give, not sell–some of your unused gaming book and accessories you don’t want or need anymore.
  • Don’t expect anything in return–you’ll jinx it if you do.

2. Stop Playing Games that Explore the Futility of Existence… for now.

Call of Crhulu, White Wolf’s World of Darkness, and other “Grimdark” games out there might be fun. But maybe you need a break and play something a little more positive. Put the “Grimdark” stuff out of sight.

3. Try New Games.

The holidays can play havoc on a regularly scheduled group. Now’s the perfect time to try a board game when not all of the regular roster of players can be around. Who knows? You might like what you try.

4. Finish Something. 

Completing a task is almost sure to boast your morale. Finish painting those miniatures. Read that new rulebook you bought awhile back. Do a blog post. Clean your house. Whatever. Get active.

5. Retail Therapy

Support your local gaming store. Get around like-minded gamers. Buy something you’ve want for awhile invest in your short time happiness. And to prevent buyer’s remorse, use what you buy ASAP. Paint up those miniatures. Run that new adventure module. Play that new set of rules.

6. Unplug from Online Forums.

I don’t think there’s must more to be said here. Even those most heavily moderated messageboards and other social media can become toxic and depressing. Unplug. Stay away.

7. Exercise

Oh no. I just said the “E-word” and it has nothing to do with Experience Points. Exercise releases endorphins from the body’s pituitary gland. And endorphins give you a euphoric feeling. And euphoria feels better than being sad.

It does work. Yet if you’re not used to exercise, work up slowly to it.

One thing to stress: doing just one activity from this list might not help, but doing two or more will. Keeping the blues away requires a combination of activities to keep the mind busy.

Yet in any case: Happy Holidays! And Merry Gaming!
Further Reading
How to Stop Worrying and Start Livingby Dale Carnegie
Exercise and Depression,” from WebMD