It is that time of the year – the holiday season. Television commercials become oddly warmhearted and emotional. Stores are crazy. Holiday drinks are out at Starbucks and people are probably arguing over their holiday cup. It smells like Fresh Balsam everywhere. 

I typically love the holidays. I am Buddy the Elf. The holidays make me very happy and typically my mental health gets bad between New Years and summer. 

With that said, not everyone enjoys the holidays. Some people are missing family members, struggling financially, stressed out, or maybe they just are not festive. It is okay if someone does not like the holidays.

Here is how to support these people:

  • Be gentle and kind. If someone is struggling, don’t call them a scrooge or the Grinch. You might not know why they aren’t feeling the holiday cheer. Be supportive by being gentle with these people and kind.
  • Be supportive. Let them know that you know this time of the year is difficult for them and that you are there for them if they need to talk.
  • Don’t force them to do anything festive. You can invite them to Christmas parties and gift exchanges. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do and don’t make them feel guilty for turning something down.

If you are having a tough time this holiday season and you are struggling with your mental health, please know that there are people who understand! Here are things you can do to help:

  • Realize that you can be as festive or not as you want. You do not need to put up a Christmas tree if it is going to exhaust you to look at it. You don’t have to put up any decorations! Or if you know it will make you feel better, then put them up. My point is, do what YOU want to do.
  • Even if someone makes you feel forced to get them a gift or do something festive, know that you do not need to do anything you don’t want to do if it is going to negatively impact your mental health.
  • Take time for you. If you are feeling burnt out and/or tired, take a break. Even if your family is around. Separate yourself from them and do something alone like write, read a book, draw, listen to music, whatever!
  • Talk to people who support you and will understand. If you have anyone you can vent to, talk to them about your struggles and how you are feeling.

The holidays can be tough! I have had holiday seasons where I was not feeling the holiday cheer. If you are really struggling this holiday season, please reach out to someone. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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