When I initially saw this picture on one of my social media platforms, I did what you did, I laughed … out LOUD. After my chuckle, I got distracted like we all do and went onto do something else. When I checked my phone later, this sad existence of a tree popped right back up. The second time around, I didn’t laugh. At second glance, this picture came with a sobering reminder that it really has been hard for everyone this year. Someone everywhere has been affected by something hard hitting this year. We’ve suffered losses in peace, health, finances, loved ones and so much more.
December is traditionally the time of year that we get together with family and close friends to celebrate our faith, beliefs, and customs. We toast, drink, eat, pray, give thanks and gifts … yes lots of gifts. Sometimes another thing isn’t what we need the most. There are some of us who are emotionally bankrupt, just plain tired and could probably appreciate a designer box of love or support more than anything. Here are a few ways to spread the wealth with those we care about, including ourselves.
Patience. You could have three different people go through the same experience and on the other side of it all you can have three completely different perspectives. People handle things based on their previous experience AND where they are in life when the impact comes along. Practice patience with your peeps, not just because you’ve been through it, but because they are in the middle of it and THEY matter to you.
Empathy. You and your loved one may have had similar things to happen in your life, but everyone handles life’s rock calls differently. As proud as we can be as humans, most of us can appreciate not feeling completely left alone when someone can relate to our right now situations. Listen to others to understand and hear with more than your ears.
Support. November and December have historically been hard for people prior to everything that 2020 and 2021. These months can be particularly hard for those who suffer from PTSD, seasonal depression, or on-going bouts of depression, are caregivers to ailing children/parents or with little to no family. Show support as best you can to those in need.
Human interaction. I don’t think I have to tell you how important human touch is for people who are sick, excited, or sad. We see photos of animals hugging one another and people are encouraged to volunteer to hold the brand-new babies or those in hospitals all the time. With the Covid and the pandemic a lot of human touch has gone the way of “give me 6 feet ma’am!”
Grace. Extend yourself the selfless opportunity to feel and heal. Too often we get hard on ourselves for failing at something and then continue to beat ourselves up because we beat ourselves up. If you’re not careful it can become a cycle of self-loathing. Communicate your need to others and then take that time to feel what you need to instead of pushing it down inside and shuffling off to the next thing on life’s to do.
Patience. Working on you takes as long as it takes. Be patient with your growth or steps forward. I’ve personally found that celebrating the small things gives you ammunition to keep propelling forward. Before long, you’ll look back and notice a hug gap between where you started and where you find yourself.
Laughter. I firmly believe that it is impossible to have to conflicting thoughts at time. Have you ever tried to laugh while having a sad thought? Go ahead and try now, I’ll wait …. SEE, told ya!! Laughter is a mood shifter, reduces stress and it’s free. Do it often like nobody’s watching.
Human Interaction. See above notes and remix for yourself girl girl!
In all of your doing this month of giving, make sure you attract, enjoy and have yourself a culturally enlightening, happy merry holiday!
*Depression hotline National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish