Thanksgiving celebrations are different all around, and even though most people celebrate it with family, friends, and loved ones, they can still feel lonely. The past two years have been more difficult for some because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some individuals have been unable to visit family and friends during the holidays. Some people may have recently lost loved ones.

There are also many other reasons people can be experiencing grief and loss during the holidays. Loneliness and isolation are two factors that may play a role during this year’s Thanksgiving celebration. This is why it is important to connect with those around you during this time to prevent loneliness, isolation, and in some cases, suicidal thoughts or ideas.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to CONNECT:

  • Connect with others by scheduling time to talk, share a meal, or do an activity you all enjoy. Volunteering is a great way to get active and socially engage.
  • Observe your emotions and physical sensations. For example, stress can be felt as tension in the shoulders or pressure on the chest. Being mindful of how you are feeling emotionally and physically can help increase self-awareness.
  • Nudge yourself outside. Connecting with nature can be beneficial to your mental health, whether it is spending time outdoors, or bringing nature into your everyday life. Semper Fit Outdoor Adventure activities swimming, parks, trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, recreational shooting, sports, beaches, lakes, and competitive events.
  • Empathize with others by listening to their stories, and share your stories with others who can empathize with you. You will open a healthy space to be vulnerable and feel validated.
  • Coping skills can help you manage difficult emotions. Work to develop your problem-solving skills, and learn mindfulness techniques that can help calm you.
  • Take care of yourself by setting healthy boundaries with individuals who do not benefit your mental health. Communicate your needs with the other individual, set limits, and practice self-care and self-respect.

For more information, contact your local Community Counseling Center or the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, press 1, or via text at 838255. Find more prevention resources in the Prevention in Action Newsletter