Holiday Health & Happiness
For so many of us, the holidays are a period of reflection. We think of family, friends, the goodness in humanity, unity, cheer and all of the joy the season brings. It truly is a magical time and sparks feelings of gratitude in hearts around the globe.
Speaking of the goodness in humanity, many things come to mind: charity, compassion for others and that extra bit of giving we see in December to name a few. Many organizations depend on this time of year to bring out the very best in us; raising funds or gathering goods for those less fortunate... often taking them through a good portion of the following year as well. Kudos to those that give!
Another item that comes to mind in December is mental health. More often than not, those struggling with mental health issues can be overlooked through the holiday hype. Someone who appears “happy and festive” may in fact be suffering from a mental health illness they feel too uncomfortable to show, speak about or even admit. It is refreshing to see these illnesses more openly discussed in today’s society; however, unfortunately there can still be stigma surrounding them.
Perhaps we all need to take a moment and think of those we interact with, be it daily or occasionally. Has anyone been extra quiet, perhaps a bit moody, not as social, a little more unkempt than in the past, extra happy or seeming to be on a “high”, removed or just different in a way that does not feel quite right to you? That person might in fact be coping with a mental illness.
There are also those that may have lost someone dear to them, are going through a divorce, have had a family member diagnosed with a critical disease, lost their job, home or suffered another large financial burden... it can be tough time of year as there are so many items that can affect mental health short-term and long-term. These are but a few.
This year, if you are not able to give money or goods to a charity, might we suggest extending a few minutes of your time? The next occasion you run in to someone you know that has experienced a challenge this past year, genuinely ask them how they are doing. Lend an ear, if only for that minute or two. You never know, you could make the difference in that person’s life as they may finally reach out for the help they need or change their thinking that day (or many days to follow). Care, compassion, and genuine concern can go a very long way with those experiencing mental health challenges.
What about yourself? If you are suffering in silence, there are an abundance of free and low-cost resources in cities across our great nation. Call a hotline, reach out to your family doctor, a specialist or a walk-in clinic. Any start is a great start, even if it is picking up the phone and calling a trusted family member or friend. You are not alone, no matter how much it may feel like it.
Together, we can end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Together, we can create mental wellness.
From the team at Ocean Sales, we wish you a joyous remainder of December. May your hearts be filled with joy that spreads to others in the spirit of the season.