While we are consumed with the busy schedules and excessive commitments that surround us during the holiday season, we need to slow down and look for those who need your love. The holidays should be a time when we focus on others, not ourselves. There are many who need your love, your time and your hand of friendship.
Look for those who have recently experienced a loss. The holidays can be difficult when one misses someone or something that was so special to them. These good people need your love and your time.
Look for those who have divorced or had some other significant family change. Such changes can impact friendships and support networks. Be the friends and support network they need.
Look for those who are struggling financially. Employment struggles, medical bills or other financial burdens can be magnified during the holidays. Concerns about providing for the dreams of little ones or keeping up with the excessive expectations of today’s society can be more than some can bear. Be the hand of support they need.
Look for those struggling with depression, anxiety, addictions or a host of other mental health struggles that can exacerbate during the holiday season. Put your arm around them and help them know that it is ok to struggle. You may not be able to solve these struggles for them, but you can be the supporting arm that will walk with them through the struggles.
Look for those who are forgotten and alone. They are likely not the ones who bring treats to every door in the neighborhood or who are on everyone’s mind. They may be a quiet neighbor, colleague, congregation member or family member who is too easily forgotten. Look for them.
Look for those who simply need to feel loved. Love is the greatest gift any of us can give. It is more powerful than money or position and more enduring than any other gift you can give.
Someone needs you this holiday season. Your love will help them. Find them. Love them. Together you can feel the joy that we all hope to feel this holiday season.
Dr. Swinton is a relationship and mental health expert with Utah State University Extension in Sevier County. If you have questions you would like him to confidentially address in this column, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.