The Holiday Season is Here: Let’s Reach Out and Support Each Other



A message from Dr. Nel Wieman, Deputy Chief Medical Officer

The holiday season is here, bringing fun times and get-togethers for some – but sadness and loneliness for others, who may be missing loved ones or are away from home and family.

If you're among those who really enjoy the holidays, that's wonderful! We wish you a very merry holiday season. We also encourage you to do what you can to include in your celebrations and gatherings those in your family or community who may be struggling. Many people in our communities are coping with losses due to COVID-19, other illnesses, and the toxic-drug-poisoning crisis, as well as other traumas related to past and current events.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to help others feel better during this time. Just by reaching out and connecting with people who may be feeling down or grieving, we can make a significant difference in their lives and help empower them to walk their journey toward healing and wellness. It is a wonderful truth that by helping others, we also help ourselves, because, as our Elders have often said, “We are all connected. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us." Here are some of the things we can do:

  • Invite someone who is feeling sad to get out for a walk in nature with you or with a group. Connecting to the land and water is a part of our old ways of healing and is still just as important today. It is a proven mood booster!
  • Visit somebody who will be alone a lot over the holidays, perhaps an Elder or somebody with mobility problems. Have a tea with them, spend time chatting, or bring them simple things like a cooked meal or a modest gift. It's the thought—not the cost—that counts.
  • It's important to stay active over the holiday season, especially since there is so much extra food and drink around. Get out and walk, skate, snowshoe, cross-country ski – anything that gets you moving! Dance inside your home if you can't get out – alone even!
  • Serve food and drink that is delicious and nutritious instead of full of empty calories. Google some mockt​ail recipes to reduce or avoid consuming alcohol.
  • Set healthy boundaries and let go of any expectations you have to be the perfect host, buy the perfect gift for your loved ones, or visit all the family members you can. Take time to care for yourself amid the chaos of the holiday season; try not to get stressed out about things and instead enjoy them.
  • Practise gratitude. It is easy to look around us and see the things we do not have or the things we want instead of celebrating the love, laughter, joy, and connections we do have around us. When we take the time to be grateful, we are changing our perspective.
  • Take a day (or more) off! It is good to relax, especially during the holidays. We all need to take time to recharge, sleep, lounge around, read a good book, and just enjoy life at a slower pace. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be productive, but resting is also necessary – and very good medicine!
  • Coming together to celebrate one another is a part of our healing at an individual, family, and community level. Go where people are gathering – friendship centres, community centres, etc. – and be part of the fun. Joy is contagious! (But so are seasonal respiratory viruses like the flu and COVID-19 – so do remember to take the precautions we're all well aware of by now, i.e., ensure your vaccinations are up to date, wear a mask indoors, and stay home if you're not feeling well.)
  • If you can't see loved ones in person this year, make the effort to stay connected by phoning them – or, if you're tech-savvy, by using Zoom, WhatsApp, and Skype so you can see each other's faces!
  • If you are feeling distressed or are struggling, reach out and ask for help if you need it. The First Nations Health Authority has mental health and wellness supports that you can access if you need additional supports.

We can't say enough how important it is to make efforts to reach out to each other and check in on how our loved ones are doing. Sometimes people who are distressed or depressed simply don't feel able to reach out for help. So in the spirit of the season, let's reach out and support one another and help our loved ones access help if they need to. Let's do what we can to brighten each other's spirits this holiday season.

Support is Available 24 Hours a Day! Reach Out if You Need to!

Skip Navigation>About>News and Events>News>The Holiday Season is Here: Let’s Reach Out and Support Each Other