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The Holidays May Feel Harder This Year. Small Gestures Will Make a Big Difference.

Almost half of people expect this holiday season to be harder than usual. Here are five suggestions from OptionBThere for how you can show up for the people you love during the holidays, even if you can’t be there for them in person.

Change up your holiday greetings

“Happy holidays” might ring hollow this year, especially for people who are dealing with hardship. Instead, try saying, “I’m thinking of you this holiday season.” Or ask an open-ended question, such as, “How are you feeling about the holidays?” Even if you aren’t sure what to say, just starting a conversation can make a world of difference.

Instead of asking if you can “do anything,” just do something

Questions like, “What can I do?” are well intentioned, but they leave it to the person having a hard time to tell us what to do—which can feel like an additional burden. Instead, step up with a simple gesture. You could mail a handwritten card, deliver groceries or a meal, or stop by to help rake leaves or shovel their driveway.

Take care of their loved ones

Sometimes the best way to show someone you care is to support the people and causes that are important to them. That might mean donating to their favorite charity, dropping off a box of books and toys for their kids, or helping them assemble a care package for a relative they’ve been worried about.  These acts can go a long way toward showing a friend or family member you’re on their team.

Make plans for next year

If you can’t be with loved ones in person this year, set aside time to talk about something you’re excited to do together in 2021—and then put a date on your calendars, even if it’s tentative. Having something to look forward to will make it easier for everyone to get through hard moments during the holidays.

Don’t try to pour from an empty cup

To show up for others, you need to take care of yourself—and that’s especially true this year, as we’re all navigating the holiday season amid loss and uncertainty. Make time for activities you enjoy, and accept help when it’s offered. You can also try journaling as a way to process your feelings.

Excerpted from “The holidays may feel harder this year. Small gestures will make a big difference.” from OptionB. Read the full post online, where you can also browse all of the #OptionBThere resources for more advice on supporting others this season.

Source: OptionB | The holidays may feel harder this year. Small gestures will make a big difference., https://optionb.org/optionbthere/holidays | 2020 © OptionB.Org

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