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People struggle during the holidays for a variety of reasons, including the loss of a loved one. Stock photo
ColumnsIntentional Living

A small act of kindness can be a huge gift

As the holidays approach faster than ever, it’s important to note that not everyone has a “merry” Christmas. For some, it is an incredibly hard time of year due to seasonal affective disorder, missing a loved one or difficult memories.

Seasonal affective disorder affects nearly 3 million people in the United States every year. It is more common in climates that have less sunlight, and people experience depressive symptoms during the fall-winter months.

And people are affected by grief and loss during the holiday season, also often an overlooked reality. People die, even on Christmas, or Hanukkah or Thanksgiving, and some will never forgive Papa for picking that day to die. Then a year later, and thereafter it’s super hard all over again.

And those of us with painful memories from holidays past can’t help but reflect or be triggered by the different forms of cheer out and about in the world today. So much money, so much stuff, and sometimes all we really need is someone to listen and a warm hug.

Life throws everyone curveballs, and now more than ever we can all extend just a little more kindness and generosity. For me, it’s always been helpful when someone wishes me a good day, holds the door, offers to help, smiles, makes a friendly comment.

You never know how far that small gesture can go for someone on one of their hardest days. Providing these small moments of joy to people in your community can make an impact.

You don’t have to give a lot of money or do something huge. Bring back the small acts of kindness this holiday season. Here are the tips again:

  1. Smile
  2. Hold the door open
  3. Say something nice
  4. Offer to help

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