How To Help Someone Who’s Having a Hard Time This Holiday Season

published Dec 24, 2017
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While we can get swept up in all the holiday cheer, it’s possible to forget that not everyone is having a jolly happy season. Non-profit organization Option B is sharing ways you can help out your friends and family who are having a hard time during the holidays.

Option B is an organization started by Sheryl Sandberg that’s meant to help build resistance in the face of adversity, such as grief, discrimination, or assault. The book of the same name is co-authored by friend and Wharton psychologist Adam Grant, who was a big help to Sandberg after the sudden death of her husband in 2015.

The org’s Instagram account is sharing short videos on how to show people who are having a rough time some love this season, when negative feelings can be compounded by the sight of everyone else celebrating.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say, but Option B gives you the okay to keep it simple:

Another video tip is about offering help: “When you make a general offer of help—’let me know if there’s something I can do’—it puts the burden on the person who’s already having a hard time.” A better way is to offer something specific, like a home-cooked meal or help with shopping, according to the account.

Option B also has some holiday e-cards—illustrated by Emily McDowell—for when generic platitudes of cheer just won’t do.

Learn more about the organization on