This time of year is busy! Doing everything we have to do in life gets remarkably harder this time of year.

Between parties, gift buying, taking care of the family, work and just finding five minutes of silence, the happiest time of the year can leave us feeling depleted, and then, guilt-ridden for feeling exhausted.

Before you know it the year is over and we spend the new year thinking over the coulda, shoulda, woulda of the last 12 months. Life has its many challenges, if you, or anyone you know, are feeling depressed, isolated or anxious, please reach out to the Aisling Center for assistance.

In addition, the holiday season can be a tough time for those who are missing their loved ones. Feelings of loss and/or loneliness are common for those who have lost someone close to them or are not able to be with loved ones during the holidays because long distances separate them. Acknowledging these feelings and sharing them with others can be an important means of coping during the holidays.

Read more: Does holiday stress suck the joy out of Christmas?

Planning ways to be with others to celebrate and/or receive comfort is a good strategy for avoiding being alone at this time. A balanced mix of taking care of oneself, staying busy, and spending some quiet time to reflect, can help to manage feelings of sadness & loneliness.

Making an effort to connect with others, even if they are not physically present, can provide some comfort and support. Also, it is remembering all that one has to be grateful for helps us to remain in a positive state of mind. Doing the things that one enjoys, along with a combination of some of these suggestions, can make the holiday season brighter.

The Aisling Irish Community Center provides resources to help you! Our Counselor, Mary Kane, is here to assist you with free counseling as well as life coaching.  Mary is working with individuals, couples, and families to help them navigate their own personal situations and develop a plan for success.  She is here for anyone in the community who reaches out for help with the challenges that each of us has from time to time.  We recognize the holidays can be challenging and encourage you to take avail of the free services we offer.

Read more: Aisling Irish Community Center launches Mulcahy Scholarship

Resources provided by the center serve the Bronx, Yonkers, Queens and the entire tristate area.  Services are provided at the center, off-site and via phone and email, all aimed at providing a comfortable and private experience.  In addition, we cover a health and wellness campaign and a suicide prevention program targeted at the entire community.  Confidentiality is ensured and is as important to us as it is to you. 

The center provides an Irish arts and culture program including classes in Irish language, music and dance; assistance with employment & accommodation; services for Senior Citizens; various classes for adults and children and weekly AA meetings.  Our educational, cultural and welfare programs/services benefit over 900 people each week.  

The Irish Volunteers for the Homeless program is a weekly feeding program, delivering food to the homeless at numerous locations throughout New York City. Volunteers are welcome to join the group at any time. 

We are able to provide all these services with the help of a dedicated board, volunteers, staff, partners and donors.  Together we create a network for anyone in need and provide much-needed services to the area. For more information email mary@aislingcenter.org; 914-237-5121, www.aislingcenter.org

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