How to reach out during the holidays

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Depending on your situation, the holidays may be a difficult time. Here are some things to remember about asking for help this time of year.

It’s important to follow local health and safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the government/public health website for your community and/or reach out to a safe adult to learn more about the holidays this year. You can also look for other ways to celebrate special events during the coronavirus disease outbreak.

During the holidays, you may be trying to adjust to a new daily routine. You may be spending more time at home or work. You may also be spending different amounts of time with friends and family. For some, having a different routine can be stressful and isolating.

You may also be coping with other people’s expectations of how you should act this time of year. For example, you may feel like you’re bringing others down if you’re not “happy” or enjoying the festivities. This can make the holiday season a challenging time of year for some people.

If you’re struggling, it’s always important to get support. Here are some things to keep in mind about reaching out:

  • You can get help: no matter what you’re struggling with, remember that help is always available. You’re not alone, even during the holidays. Many 24/7/365 support services are open including shelters, helplines and other community agencies.
  • It’s OK to reach out: the holidays are a happy time of year for some people. However, not everyone enjoys the season. That’s OK — whatever you’re thinking and feeling is valid. No problem is too big or too small to talk about.
  • Breathing can help: if you’re upset, try taking slow, deep breaths to help your mind and body relax. Calming your breathing can help you communicate more clearly. Check out Kids Help Phone’s Breathing Balloon tool to learn more.
  • Letting it out is good: it’s OK to cry, even while you’re reaching out for help. Getting your feelings out while seeking help can be a big relief.
  • Relaxing is key: before or after reaching out, you can try different techniques to relax. Kids Help Phone’s Tension Release Exercise can help you calm down and manage anxiety.

Here are some steps you can take to ask for help and get support during the holidays:

  • Take a step back: try to remove yourself from the situation that’s upsetting you right now. This could mean finding a quiet spot (e.g. your bedroom), getting out of the house or staying home from work to get help. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle to listen to soothing music or go for a walk may also help.
  • Find a quiet place: when you’re ready to reach out, find a quiet, private place to talk to someone. Try to find a place without too many other people where you won’t be interrupted or overheard.
  • Find the right support: you can find support services that are available in person, on the phone or online during the holidays. Resources Around Me can help you find services in your area.
  • Contact a safe adult: it’s important to talk to someone you trust who’s available during the holidays. You can try talking to a family member, friend, Kids Help Phone counsellor or any other safe adult in your life.
  • Contact emergency services: if you’re in immediate danger, it’s important to contact 911 or the emergency services in your area for help.

The holiday season can be a difficult time of year for some people. Remember, you can reach out and get help in any moment of crisis or need.