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INDIANAPOLIS–As many anticipate and share in their excitement for the Christmas and new year’s holiday, you may have seen posts on social media reminding you that while this certainly can be “the most wonderful time of year” some, for others, it can be one of the hardest times.

Due to the pandemic so many people are experiencing their first (or second) holiday season without a loved one. Many are also experiencing another year of the covid-19 virus is preventing them from being able to gather loved ones.

Tim Mallory, a therapist at Counseling at the Green House says while everyone who is getting the chance to celebrate absolutely should (if they choose) there is also a good chance someone you know may be having a harder time.  

“Meeting up with people that you don’t see very often could cause you to recall some negative times. Or make you think of the empty seat at the table. It’s all the reminders of how much has changed over the course of the year, for good or bad, and a lot of people just need help talking through that,” he said.

Mallory says now more than ever people need “community,” not just “connection” like experienced on social media. He adds if you’re someone who may be having a tough time navigating the holidays that it’s important to reach out to someone and talk with them. He also suggests if you know someone who may be going through a rough time to reach out to them.  

“If you know someone and you’re concerned about how they’re doing, don’t wait for them to ask for help. They would love to have your help but when we’re in a dark place the last thing we want to do is reach out for that help. But we all desperately crave that connection and genuine interaction with people. But nobody wants to be a burden. Let them know that they are not a burden,”

As a side note, Mallory adds that the holidays come with plenty of pressures in a normal year, but this year you may even feel some increased pressure to “make up” for last year. That’s understandable. It’s also understandable if you don’t want to do that. At the end of the day Mallory says it’s understandable if you want or need to scale back or even take a break from holiday festivities. We’re all just trying to get through what’s been a crazy two years, how you decide how to handle the holidays is up to you.