Among all the other things clamoring for our attention in 2023, ranging from Travis & Taylor to the painful news from the Middle East and Ukraine, one report came out that I don’t think got the attention it deserved. Our Surgeon General issued an advisory called “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation,” and it is a serious look at an important issue. I was especially impressed, however, by its hopeful subtitle, which focuses on “The Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.”

The holiday season is prime time for “Social Connection and Community.” For some, though, this time of year can bring feelings of loneliness and melancholy. Here are some uplifting tips to navigate the holiday season with resilience and warmth.

  1. Reach Out: While technology has its downsides, we live in a world where it is easier than ever to connect with loved ones. Use your phones, tablets and computers to host virtual gatherings, send cheerful texts, or even organize a video call with friends and family. Sharing laughter and stories, even across distances, can bridge gaps and make the season brighter for the caller and the lucky recipient.
  2. Give Back: The spirit of giving is often stronger than loneliness. Consider volunteering your time at local charities or community events. Helping others not only creates a sense of purpose but also introduces you to like-minded individuals who share your passion for doing good.
  3. Practice Self-Care: Amid the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to prioritize self-care. Take a break, indulge in activities that bring you joy, and be kind to yourself. Whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, or enjoying a quiet moment with a cup of tea, these small acts can have a major impact on your well-being.
  4. Focus on Gratitude: Take some time to think about some of the things in your life that make you smile. They may be simple things like a warm blanket, a soft pillow, listening to your favorite music, a wave to a neighbor or a smile to a stranger. Maybe even call a friend and thank them for being a part of your life – it will make both of you feel good!
  5. Get out of the house: Explore local events and festivities in your community. Attend holiday markets, concerts, or cultural events, or just go for a walk around the neighborhood. A change of scenery is good for you!
  6. Seek Professional Support if you need it: No matter what season it is, if you are feeling symptoms of depression or thinking about harming yourself or others, mental health services are available. No matter where you are or what time it is, you can call 988 and get connected to help. You are not alone, and it can get better.

This holiday season, let’s prioritize connection, resilience, and well-being. By reaching out to others and practicing self-care, we can make this a wonderful holiday season in our Northland community. We at Beacon Mental health wish you a warm and wonderful holiday season.

For more exciting updates, career opportunities, interesting stories and ways to support Beacon Mental Health delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter that is distributed every other month.