This #MentalHealthMatters blog post was written by Kim Pirnat, Director of Billing Operations at Ravenwood Health

The holidays, end of the year, and beginning of a new year are an emotional time. For some, those are happy emotions of having time with family, watching kids open presents, celebrating and looking forward to a new start. For others, this time of the year can be filled with the stress of making everything perfect, getting everything done, and living up to that Hallmark Movie. And for some, the season brings sadness for missing loved ones, feelings of loss, or just struggling as the world around you seems full of joy and you just aren’t feeling it.

Regardless of where you are, those are your emotions, and you have every right to feel them. There are no right or wrong feelings. Just remember that others may not feel the same way, so a little kindness and patience goes a long way. As I’ve been shopping for the holidays, I’ve seen people yelling at cashiers, being mean to other shoppers, and just making things more challenging. In a world where everyone is short staffed, being kind and having patience goes a long way. Everyone is just doing the best they can. How can we make it better?

A simple act of kindness could make all the difference in someone’s world. A smile at the mom who is struggling with a crying toddler, holding the door for a stranger, and just doing something kind brightens someone else’s day. Doing something nice for others makes you feel good and is good for the soul. I try each day, as my sons have learned in scouting, to do a good thing daily—do something nice for someone else—just because!

As we approach the end of the year it is a time for reflection. What did you learn this past year?   What can you do better next year? For me, I’ve learned that time goes way too fast. Kids grow up too quickly and our time with them at home is limited. Eighteen years sounds like a long time, but it is gone in the blink of an eye. Make time for the things that are important to you and the things that you enjoy!

As we head into a new year, I’m not a big one for New Year’s Resolutions. I find that for me personally, I set a goal to start something new and it doesn’t become a habit or part of life.   Instead, I look for ways to always grow and develop. Start each day on a positive note, celebrate the little things, and have fun! Life is short and time is precious! Don’t worry about what others think—do the things that make you happy and live each day to the fullest.

If you are struggling, reach out and talk to someone. A friend, family member, or reach out to a professional. Many times, just talking through something helps. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Help is just a phone call away.

I am currently reading Declutter your Mind:  How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking, by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport.