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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 27, 2021 • Issue 21:12:02


Helping others through the holidays

As one year comes to a close and another begins, there tends to be a prevailing spirit of goodwill and optimism stemming from diverse traditions across the globe. Many people feel buoyed at this time and ready to embark on refreshed goals both personal and professional.

But that isn't the case for everyone. For a variety of factors, the holidays trigger upset feelings rather than joy, bringing to mind loss instead of blessings. For those who are contending with chronic depression, the holidays can be especially challenging.

Sometimes, it's obvious by a person's behavior that they're going through a rough patch; sometimes, however, a person can appear to be well adjusted on the outside but on the inside be suffering. Many people can be highly productive despite inner turmoil.

One such person is Bruce R. Ross, whose book, Breaking Free of Depression's Grip: A Powerful Success Story, will be published in January by IC Publishing. In the book, Ross, now retired from his position as a CFO in the credit union sector, shares what it was like to be diagnosed with depression, the dangers of falling into despair, the significance of staying close to family and friends, and how he pursued every avenue to find better mental health. Ross cites the critical importance of his boss, who supported his efforts to "contain and control the effects of depression" so he could "carry out the complex fiduciary duties he was called upon to complete day after day."

Use what you already know

This book was crafted to give hope and inspiration to people experiencing depression, but it would probably not be helpful to suggest it to someone you don't know well. Many people experience fleeting periods of sadness or malaise that pass without intervention. That doesn't mean you can't be helpful at these times, though. As a payments professional, you can apply the same strengths that make you good in your career to boost someone's mood.

One thing you're already good at is refraining from making assumptions. You might be in great spirits because, for example, you've received a hefty holiday bonus, but that's not necessarily the case for people you may encounter during the day.

And that leads to the next skill you can apply: listening with your full attention. The goal isn't to end up with a merchant having an emotional breakdown in your arms, but you can listen well enough so the person you're interacting with feels heard. That alone can lift a person's mood. Bringing an individual's attention to the present moment by admiring something in the decor, for example, can also be surprisingly helpful.

For family and friends who are going through a tough time, you can help them locate appropriate resources in your community, as well as online. If your efforts are resisted, don't take it personally. It's often difficult for a person in need of help to accept that reality.

In any event, it's good to remember that kindness is always appropriate. And on that note, I hope you thoroughly enjoy the rest of the year-end holidays and that 2022 brings you and yours both joy and prosperity. end of article

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