The holidays are supposed to be merry and bright, but for many people this year, they feel dark and isolating instead. After months of social distancing during the pandemic, spending the holidays away from loved ones can be the last straw for many. If you’re struggling right now, you may find yourself needing to reach out for help this holiday season.
Asking for help can mean many things. Maybe your alcohol and/or drug use has become a problem, and you need your friends and family to help you connect with substance use disorder treatment. Even if you’re not in need of treatment, you might need to ask a trusted mentor in recovery to help you stay on track, or even just ask a friend to check in on you once a week to keep your mental health in balance.
No matter what type of help you need this holiday season, here’s how to ask for the support that can keep you healthy.
Recognize That It’s Okay to Seek Help
Right now, many people are struggling. Because of that, it’s normal to feel that you don’t want to burden your loved ones by asking them to help you. However, that feeling can keep you from getting assistance when you really need it.
If you’re feeling like a burden, a simple mindset change can help. Many people are looking for ways to find purpose and meaning this holiday season, and helping you — a loved one — can give them just the opportunity. So, don’t be shy about reaching out… it might benefit you and the person you’re asking.
Think About What You Want or Need
Oftentimes, people want to help, but don’t know how. If you are able to do it, spend time thinking about what exactly could benefit you. That way, you can ask for help, but also present a part of the solution.
For example, if you feel that you’re at risk for relapse, you can ask your recovery community to support you by attending meetings with you once or twice a week, even virtually. If, like many parents, you’re feeling overwhelmed by schooling, you could ask a friend if they’re interested in a socially-distanced playdate to get the kids out of your hair for a bit. If you’re overwhelmed by shopping, ask friends and family to pick up a few essentials for you so that you can minimize your trips to the store.
Giving your friends and family actionable steps can make it easier for them to offer you the help that you need.
Be Prepared to Be Vulnerable
During the pandemic, we’re all isolated in some ways. Because of that, your friends or family might not recognize that you are struggling. After all, it’s easy to keep up appearances over a video call.
If you need help, you’ll have to be willing to get vulnerable with the people you love. In order to help be part of the solution, your loved ones will need to know what you’re dealing with. That means you’ll need to talk to them, openly and honestly, about exactly what’s going on in your life and with your mental health right now.
Remember That You Deserve to Feel Good
Asking for help can be awkward, even in the best of times. It’s easy to talk yourself out of asking for help, even when you need it. If you’re tempted to change your mind about asking for help, remind yourself that you deserve happiness, wellness and comfort. Your friends and loved ones want you to have those things too, and in many cases they’re willing to do a bit of work to make sure that you have what you need.
This holiday season, asking for help can allow you to start 2021 on the best foot possible. Although it might be awkward initially, in the long run you will be glad that you asked your loved ones to support you when you needed it.