Earlier this year, I shared a piece about supporting our loved ones who may be struggling. With the holidays upon us, I thought it would be fitting to write a holiday version as this time can bring about many new and challenging thoughts and feelings for some.
I want to start this off by reminding you it’s so important that you also look after yourself. If you’re someone who enjoys the festive season, don’t feel like you have to miss out on the festivities. You’re allowed to have fun! It only comes around once a year, after all.
Now, how do you support a loved one during this time? Simply being honest and asking them how you can best help them can have a big impact. Acknowledging that you know this time of year is difficult can also mean a lot. There can sometimes be pressure to ‘be merry’ and be full of joy, which can be true for some people, but not everyone. This in itself can cause further anxiety.
Maybe this year you could try something new together to create happier memories. For example, maybe they had a traumatic experience around this time of year. You could try doing some festive baking, a fun photo shoot with props and costumes, etc. Something that you both can enjoy! Perhaps even sitting down together with some yummy snacks and watching a movie (holiday theme optional).
There isn’t much more you can do than be there for your loved one. This could mean simply listening or suggesting something fun to do to get their mind off of it. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, just something that lets them know you’re there for them. You could also support them in seeking professional help, asking if you can help in any way, sharing resources and just letting them know that you’re there.
Seeing your loved ones struggling isn’t easy, so remember to take some time out for you, too. Showing up and being there for loved ones and for yourself might not feel like a lot, but I want to assure you it’s more than enough.
Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to ‘find help’ - it’s not weak to speak!