Home For The Holidays
How To Be Present For Those Not Close By
NOV 25th, 2019 by Rebecca Wallace
The holiday season can be a difficult time for a lot of people. If you live far from family, don't have many friends close by, are prone to depression and so many other things, you may have a hard time around the holidays. There are 2 groups of people we want to talk about who can feel very isolated and alone during the holidays, the elderly and LGBTQ youth. There are other groups as well, but we will be focusing on these 2 in particular. During the winter months, and around the holidays, crisis responders see an increase in calls from those who are contemplating suicide or self harm and from those who have already taken the first step in completing suicide. Suicide completion rates are normally lower around the holidays, but the rate of calls is usually at a rise. There are a few key things you can do to help those you care about who might be struggling during the holidays. There are also some things you can do for those you do not know, but might be in an at risk group.
It can be difficult to see all your family on the holidays, but you can be emotionally available for them. Skype! Skyping or video chatting can really help the family members you cannot be with on a holidays feel apart of the excitement. When we do this with our family we open Christmas gifts together over Skype, and everyone loves it. During Thanksgiving, we all go around and say what we are thankful for together over Skype. Another thing you can do is call the day or weekend after the holiday to talk about the festivities each experienced. A lot of people experience the worst of their loneliness the days after a holiday, so checking up on family after the holidays is very important. Ask how the family member is feeling. Let them talk, actively listen and engage in conversation.
If you want to make an impact on one of the at risk groups, get involved. The best thing you can do is get involved with your community. Volunteer your time at a nursing home, in home care service, a local Pride group, school, etc. Many elderly feel alone, so making a meal for them, giving cards, care packages or even just visiting can make a world of difference. For the LGBTQ youth, the holidays can be hard because according to The Trevor Project "...this time period may be associated with increased crisis levels for LGBTQ youth who experience lower levels of family support and heightened levels of rejection compared to their straight, cisgender peers." So, reach out to your local Pride chapter and see how you can get involved in a youths life. Your local chapter should be able to let you know who and how you can help. It really can be simple, easy things that can make a difference in someones life.
Whatever your situation might be, there is always a way to help. Reach out to family member, call a retirement home, pick up the phone and make a difference in an LGBTQ youths life. Have a safe and happy holiday season, and help someone else do the same. For more ways to help, contact Rebecca at info@BioOneFlagstaff.com or info@BioOneScottsdale.com