We are in the midst of a month-long series of holidays. Regardless of what you celebrate, it’s pretty difficult to be out in public and not be hit by wall-to-wall holiday greetings. And that’s a great thing – for most people. For others, it’s pretty difficult to feel merry at this time of year, and that’s alright.

Sometimes people have financial, medical or personal issues that interfere with their happiness. A few years ago, my grandmother died right after Thanksgiving. She’d been the rock of our family, and that first Christmas without her was strange, quiet and somber. Sure, we had fun, and the kids loved opening presents – some of which Grandma had bought before she died. But I was in the midst of my mourning, and while I kept a good front for my kids, I went the entire month of December without listening to a single Christmas song or watching a Christmas special.

Others feel depressed every December. Call it holiday blues or seasonal affective disorder, they find it difficult to find joy at this time of year. Maybe you are going through this, or maybe a co-worker or employee is. If you see someone going through a tough time this holiday season, don’t say something like “Cheer up, it’s Christmas!” or get in their face about it. Let them know you’re there for them if they need to talk, and let them know you’re thankful for them. If you’re experiencing this, don’t be afraid to seek out a friend or loved one – someone who will understand and sympathize.

I know there’s nothing business-oriented about any of this, and I beg your indulgence. But the thing is, we are more than businessmen and women. We are more than employees and employers. We are human beings, capable of the highest of emotional highs and the lowest of lows. I think we sometimes get so wrapped up in the job that pays the bills, we sometimes overlook our human side and our mental needs. You have to take care of yourself, and we should all do our best to take care of each other too. I have been to many businesses where people call their co-workers family. Family looks after family through good times and bad. If a family member needs a little extra help in the holidays, we should let them know that we’re there.

Whether you’re enjoying the holidays or trying to get through it, I wish you a good holiday season and a successful New Year.