I will never forget my first holiday following a devastating divorce.  I was living in Nashville, Tennessee at the time.  Unlike the previous holidays, I was now by myself.   It’s true: when in pain, we tend to isolate.  And that’s just what I did---until I got a call from the local mission asking me if I could come and help  serve dinner for the city’s homeless men and women.  That’s what totally changed  my outlook.   No longer was I focused on my personal losses.  I was now communicating with others who were experiencing tough times!   And that’s the key to overcoming what is commonly called “the holiday blues.”   As I learned volunteering your time is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

If you’re alone this holiday, a good friend of mine, Sandy Parham (Suicide and Crisis Support Coordinator with the Helpline in Sioux Falls) urges you to take the lead and spend time with others.  A church is a great place to be.  If you can manage it, try spending a few hours volunteering at a hospital or a soup kitchen.  Check out the Banquet in Sioux Falls!

If you’d like to talk with someone right now, Sandy encourages you to call the Helpline!  The center is open 24 hours a day 7 days week.   The direct line is 211.