Friday 1 December 2017

#329 Avoiding depression during Christmas

I'd only ever been depressed once back when I was a teenager but I knew the holidays could be a difficult time for some people because:

* December's expensive
* Spending time with people pretending to enjoy everything is draining
* You haven't really achieved anything worthwhile this year and you know it
* Greenpeace ruined the Coke advert

I'd been watching some Youtube videos by Jordan Peterson lately, having discovered him this week and one of them was about depression so I figured it could provide some guidance for boosting people's well-being this festive season. It was mainly for men.

Jordan was a stubborn man who had risked expulsion from his academic job by refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns. He had courage. Specifically, he refused to be forced to use GNPs, an important distinction.

A well-read psychologist, Jordan Peterson seemed to stand for male mental health and gave lectures on the subject in a charismatic, practical and humorous style. I immediately recognised his talks as an important counterbalance to some of the more nihilistic content I consumed as part of my information diet.

Peterson divided well-being into five pillars. Work, romance, friendship, health and vices. In a way, all these areas had one thing in common. They were reminders to get back in touch with the world. Timely reminders. Christmas seemed like an ideal time for all of those things. There were always more temporary jobs available in December, it was a romantic time of year, everybody was seeing friends. It wasn't a particularly healthy month but a decent opportunity to make resolutions for next year.

Tonight I'd caught up with some of my sister's old friends. Having seen Emily Underworld's post about Pizza Union at Aldgate, I'd decided to drag them there. That was one of my five pillars covered off. I was healthy as far as I knew and had no addictions so I had three pillars without really trying, which was nice. My first day of Blogmas* was off to a good start.

*Blogmas... a phenomenon whereby bloggers are posting a Christmas-related post for every day of advent.

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