This time of year can be so joyous, but it can also be a time filled with sorrow and emotional pain. The media shows only one side, and that is painted with almost unattainable perfection.

Not everyone is ready for the various celebrations of the holiday season. Many are dealing with serious illness, financial worries, loneliness, unemployment, grief and loss issues, ending relationships, or a myriad of other very human struggles.

It’s important that we show sensitivity and support for those who are doing their very best to cope amid all the holiday festivities.  If there’s something concrete that we can do to help them with their difficulties, that’s great. Sometimes, though, the best thing we can do is to let them know we’re there, and that we care.

Feeling sad, lonely, or anxious, can be hard to bear at any time, but when everyone else seems to be full of happiness and good cheer, it can feel particularly unsettling.  It can seem like you’re out of step with the rest of the world, and lead to increased discomfort and even isolation.

So keep alert to those around you. If you can share a smile, a kind word, or a gentle touch with others, it can make a difference. If someone close to you seems to be suffering, ask them if there’s a way you can help. Be ready to listen, and offer your warmth and caring.

If you’re the one struggling, reach out to friends, neighbors, and family members, if you’re able. Let them know you need them. The more we’re there for each other, the better everyone feels!  If reaching out to someone you know doesn’t feel doable, please consider contacting a professional for some temporary support at this difficult time.  It can really help!

Until next time,

Linda

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