How to Reach Out to Others During the Holidays

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

We are speeding through the holidays, and while most of us enjoy getting together with family and friends, some people sink into a well of depression. They feel alone and abandoned. After a discussion about this sad reality, I decided to share a few of my friend’s and a professional’s ideas about how to help others feel wanted and loved during the season.

  1. Pray for all those who feel the weight of depression, not just during the holidays but year around. Listen for the silent cries for help.
  2. Request the person(s) to spend the holiday with you. A statement of, “The day wouldn’t be the same without you,” makes them feel wanted.
  3. Ask the guest for their favorite holiday dish or recipe.
  4. Invite the person to a holiday concert or choir presentation.
  5. Host a holiday movie night.
  6. Prepare to meet the needs of one who is depressed by using kindness and a listening ear.
  7. Invest financially. For a family member or friend who lives miles away and will spend a holiday alone, consider financing transportation and other costs needed for the trip.
  8. Include the person in conversation and activities. Understand no one wants to be pitied or feel like a charity case.
  9. Understand some people cannot mentally or physically leave their home. Phone, email, text or FaceTime (or an equivalent) often during the season.
  10. Offer to deliver a holiday meal to a shut-in. Make it festive!
  11. Consult with a hospital to see if wishing patients a joyous day is appropriate. Leave a small token of your visit.
  12. Schedule a visit to a nursing home. Many of these people long for company. If you are a pianist, offer to play holiday music for the group.
  13. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Wear a smile and a positive attitude.

A friend who is a nurse said it best. “Holidays aren’t always the joyous times of the year everybody thinks they are. Being sensitive to someone’s psychological status can be tricky but can be greatly beneficial to the giver and the recipient of kindness and compassion.”

Share an experience about how you reached out to others during the holidays.

DiAnn Mills



DiAnn’s Library Corner

Library Tip: Encourage community during the holidays activities that involve young and old—then carry it on throughout the year.


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