5 Ways To Help: When The Holidays Are Hard

By Published On: December 28, 20202.3 min readCategories: SupportTags:

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Oh the Holiday Season!

It’s the time of year that children get excited for Santa, and Christmas music and decorations are both on at full blast. Traditions are made and kept. Silly games are played and ugly sweaters are worn.

But for many this Christmas season is not the most wonderful time of the year. The season will not be happy or joyous. Many are struggling with being apart from families, financial hardships, job loss, loss of family, depression, and anxiety.

In fact, for many, the holiday season is synonymous with feelings of depression.

No one wants to be a Bah Humbug or Scrooge during the holidays. But this is a dreaded time for people struggling with depression. They can feel pressure to seem happy, when they are sad and lonely. They may have thoughts of suicide and feel more than ever a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Depressive symptoms are magnified by loneliness, shorter days, strained relationships with family/friends, expectations of the holidays, and negative associations. The holiday season can be a very dangerous and vulnerable time, when one cannot see the hope in the future.

There are things we can all do to help reach out and check on people around our lives. As small a role they may play in our life, they would be greatly missed. The mail carrier, the barista making your morning coffee, or the bank teller who always gives you a dog treat when they see your dog in the car.

5 ways you can try to help ease somebody’s struggles during the holiday season

  1. Make eye contact, smile, and acknowledge their presence. Everyone needs to know that their existence matters and there are people in their lives who care.
  2. Reach out to people who live alone, have family far away, or who you know struggle with mental health.Human connection is vitally important to all human survival. Call them, text them, ask them to have a zoom meeting. Even short conversations helps people feel connected.
  3. Make a small helpful gesture. Shovel your neighbor’s snow, ask to take their dog for a walk, or pick up something at the store for them.
  4. Ask someone how they are doing. This shows people that your are genuinely concerned about their well being.
  5. Inquire how you can be of assistance to them or how they can be of assistance to others. People need to know that they have resources to offer others. This makes one feel useful and helpful.

The holiday season can be a time to reach out to others and provide hope, human connection, and a feeling that they matter to others around them.

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