It’s no secret that the holiday season is a difficult time for many. Whether it’s that the sun sets earlier, the weather gets colder or you have to deal with family more than the rest of the year, the next few months bring challenges and difficulties that are unique to this time of the year. And this year, those challenges are even more difficult than usual because of COVID-19, meaning that plenty of people won’t be around the people they usually see during the holidays. Since we already know this will be a challenging time, how do we use this to our advantage? It’s time to get intentional!
Despite what many people might say in the United States, this holiday season will be different. It would be easy to get into a debate over why/how it’s different, but moving forward with the knowledge that things are different is all we need. The holidays can put people in a dark place, and if someone is dealing with these thoughts and feelings for the first time, those ideas are heightened even further. Not being able to see people that you usually see will only exacerbate that. Every year, I ask my readers to reach out to people for wellness check-ins. To do that, we need to ignore the myth that there needs to be a “reason” for getting in touch with someone besides asking someone how they’re doing. Checking in with someone to make sure they’re okay IS a reason! Honestly, it’s one of the most important reasons you can check in with someone. And people need that now more than ever.
This year is also different in the fact that it’s safe to assume to that this holiday season looks different for a lot of people. To ask someone how they’re doing, you don’t need to know why they might be down. People don’t need to know specifics to be helpful, or to be helped. Working with the knowledge that things aren’t as they always are is enough to lend a hand.
While I usually write about how to reach out to others, I also want to include a message for those people going through it these next few months. In case you haven’t heard it before, you do NOT need to wait for someone to reach out to you if you need to talk to someone. It’s perfectly okay to initiate a conversation with someone if you’re in need. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without having to call and text people when I need to talk.
I know it’s not easy, but I’m wishing all of you the best of luck during this holiday season. It’s difficult to get through the holidays – and the holidays during a pandemic – alone, and I hope so much for you that there are people on the other side who bring you through the way they did for me.