Domestic Diversions

Springing into action: helping make unhappy holidays better

USA Today offers us tips for helping our family and friend dealing with the Holiday Blues.

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant [the the authors of “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy”] write (excerpt):
First: . . . the most unhelpful “help” came from those who urged them to cheer up and recover. Pressuring people to be happy is a surefire way to make them sad; feeling bad about feeling bad just makes us feel worse.
For bereaved parents and spouses, the most helpful help came from people who invited them to express their feelings. . .
Second: . . . focus on their experience, not yours.
“When you’re faced with tragedy,” writer Tim Lawrence notes, “the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words: I acknowledge your pain. I’m here with you.”
Third: . . . Don’t give unsolicited advice. Consider just admitting, “I wish I knew the right thing to say. I’m so sorry you’re going through this — but you will not go through it alone.”
And fourth: . . . “Instead of offering ‘anything,’ ” author Bruce Feiler recommends, “just do something.” . . .

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