Holidays can be joyous festive occasions; but they aren’t necessarily so for everyone. While you are enjoying yours, be mindful of those whose lives have been touched by tremendous loss, grief and loneliness. Holiday time reminds some of just how much they miss the people who are not in their lives or how little they may have, instead of focusing on the things that are present.

There are extremes, those who have no worries, and share their joy and generosity and then those who ‘just get by.” However, what about all those that fall between the two; and, while they are functioning in the workplace and community they may be alone, unhappy and searching.

Here are some things to consider:

1. If you find that you will be alone for the holiday, seek out an activity that falls on the day you celebrate. Visit someone in a nursing home, volunteer at a local shelter, go to a service of some type, or visit a park, beach or even a coffee shop. There are always other people around that will provide you some conversation, a smile or a pleasant interaction.
2. Holiday time is also a good time to think about reaching out to those you have lost contact with from your past to consider rebuilding a hurt friendship.
3. If someone has experienced a recent loss, send a card and include a special thought for a difficult time. If you all celebrate together, it’s okay to talk about the loved one as doing so may bring you closer. Sometimes making a favorite meal or treat that person loved, singing a favorite song or playing their favorite music can be comforting as well.
4. Do something that gets you out of the house even if it is for a brief period of time. It may be to walk around the block, sitting in a chair outside or talking to a neighbor.
5. Think about what changes you need or want to make in your life. Reach out to someone close to discuss this. If there is no one, think about finding someone who can be objective and offer guidance.
6. Remember holidays pass and whatever the stress, distress or upset you may be experiencing, it should dissipate once the holidays pass.
7. If holidays are always stressful, this may be a good time to think about how you want it to be different next year. Make a commitment to make changes.
8. If you are alone, know that there are others just like you. There are many support groups, organizations and other resources that can help. One of the greatest holiday gifts you can give is that of friendship and support to others. Helping others can sometimes be as meaningful to us as it is to others.
9. Writing and setting New Year goals can help catapult you forward to the next year.
10. Stay focused on the positives in your life, the positives you want to have happen and most importantly the positives you can make happen.

Best wishes and Happy New Year to all.

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