(This is a beautiful cover…. )
That time of year again! Christmas and snow. I am a Christmas lover and always have been. I think it’s partially because we grew up loving the holiday and all it brings and my mom did (still does) everything possible to embrace the holidays.
However, my dad was always upset at Christmas time. His family was back in Ireland and so Christmas for him was never something he never looked forward to. It was kind of hard to be around at times because we all loved the holiday so much.
But it’s important to be supportive of those who don’t feel the holiday magic like we do- for whatever reason that may be for them.
This holiday season, it seems like those around me are struggling more than usual. Many of them are having mental health issues and the “pressure” of the holidays cheerfulness is getting to them. Some have grieved for many years and every year Christmas is a struggle.
Do you have anyone you love struggling through the season as well?
How to support loved ones with holiday blues:
Let them do their own thing.
Don’t pressure them to celebrate if they aren’t feeling up to it. They already can’t escape the holiday decorations in every store, the holiday music on every station, and Christmas movies no matter what channel they are on. It might be hard for you to come to terms with not doing these things together, but if you give them space and time they may come around enough to enjoy it, if even just a little bit.
But know when they need someone around them.
I had someone who was struggling tell me they wanted to be left alone but I felt like they really needed someone nearby. So I went over and they later told me that they were happy that they had me there. Sometimes people don’t know what they want in their struggle and need help seeing that.
Get them a thoughtful gift.
This may seem like a silly one but if you get them a thoughtful and personal gift for the holiday they will feel better about celebrating!
Help them with holiday preparation.
If they are not feeling in the holiday spirit and generally down and out, they are probably not going to want to do anything necessary to make the holiday happen. Things like baking and holiday shopping can feel like a chore to them. Helping them with anything they need to make it happen will be a big support.
Ask them if they want to talk about it.
If they do, just listen. If they don’t, just be there for support when they do.
Encourage them to do what makes them happy & keep busy.
Keeping busy helps people not focus so much on their mind so it’s important to help them realize they need to continue their normal routines, hobbies, and interests. (Also exercise is really important!) Maybe encourage them to go for a walk with you if they need help staying motivated.
Suggest doing something helpful around the holiday.
Volunteering in the community, doing Toys for Tots, giving time to those in need that have less than us makes us feel good. It also takes the pressure off of the person you know whose struggling to enjoy the holiday and makes it not about them, but about those they help.
How do you help your loved ones who struggle with holiday blues?