Your time during the holidays may be limited, but reaching out to help others will help remind you of the true meaning of the season and put your own stresses in perspective.
-Invite someone with no family or no local family for dinner or celebrating with your family.-Recognize the signs of depression in others - irritability, withdrawal, decrease in energy level, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, decrease in attention to appearance - and reach out and offer to help.
-Respect the variety of ways individuals celebrate the holidays, based on religious or family traditions.
-Offer to help the elderly or incapacitated with their holiday preparations - shopping, wrapping, addressing cards.
-Donate toys to a program for unfortunate children, clothing to a community thrift shop, food to food shelves.
-Go caroling at a home for the elderly or at a children's hospital.
-Volunteer to work at a crisis hotline. Crises may escalate during the holidays.
-Remember that many people don't get time off at the holidays - hotel workers, restaurant employees and other service industry people - so go out of your way to be courteous to them.