This year was tough. Let's get through the end of it together.
Let's face it — 2016 was a sucky year overall.
As such, many people have simply said "F*** you very much, 2016" and gone into winter hibernation early to attend to their hurting hearts and minds and await a hopefully less sucky new year.
With the holidays approaching, however, there's a better way for all of us to collectively heal. Rather than going inward, reaching out to help someone else might actually be the key to making ourselves feel better.
According to a study by the University of Louisville's psychology department, doing good things for other people has been shown to increase feelings of positivity. This is why gift-giving often leaves us with the warm fuzzies.
Brooklyn illustrator Connie J. Sun gets this, which is why she created several comics about looking out for one another in times of trouble.
Here are 11 of them that will hopefully inspire you to do just that.
1. We all have days like this. We won't ask for it, but that's when we need someone to reach out most.
2. And commutes can make things feel worse. But what if we commiserated together?
3. It's good to check in with your loved ones when the world feels heavy and remind them you're here for them.
4. Because there will be hard moments when it feels like everyone is against you.
5. And, yes, many of those moments may come out of political discussions.
6. But if you simply can't see eye-to-eye on certain subjects, that's OK too. There are other ways to support one another.
7. At the end of the day, words are forgotten. It's actions that have lasting effects.
8. We remember who reached out to us in our darkest hours.
9. They're the friends who make you (and life) better.
10. We are sounding boards for each other when things get ... weird.
11. And when we don't know what to do, the best way to move forward is to help someone else out. It'll make all the difference.
There are so many ways you can reach out to someone over the holidays and simultaneously make both of you happier.
You can check in on a friend who's been having a rough time. You can volunteer at your local shelter (animal or human). You can start up a conversation with your local grocer about their plans for the holidays. Or even just hold the door for a stranger, smile, make eye contact, and say "Happy Holidays."
Try it the next time you go out. You'll be surprised how hard it will be to stifle a smile as you walk on down the street.