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Unfestive greetings

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‘Tis the season to be jolly…

Jolly what?

Jolly depressed? Jolly anxious? Jolly overwhelmed? Jolly sad?

The end of the year and the ‘festive season’ can be a tough time for many. Society sets up an expectation that the festive season is a time for joy, happiness, giving and love.

For many people, this expectation is not met.

This time of year really focuses people. It can focus us on the very best, but for many, who are stuck in a world where they feel limited, without choices, scared and not coping, this focus has the potential to magnify distress.

Christmas for them can be a time of fear, loneliness, remembering, anxiety, depression and going without.

If this is you, then remember:

  • You are not alone. There are individuals who want to connect to you, so let them in.
  • There is help and support available. Lifeline, your GP, a neighbour, the local priest, rabbai or imam – even if you are not of their faith.
  • You have more options than you might think.
  • Asking for help is possible, gaining help is often only a matter of asking.
  • Caring for yourself is an important first step.

Perhaps getting through this time may be your first and most important goal.

On the other hand, you may reflect on your year and realise that you are one of the ‘lucky ones’. You may have had some good times, you may have been fortunate, you may be doing OK.

If, spare a thought for the others this festive season:

  • Open your heart to someone else who may be struggling.
  • Reach out and ask “are you OK?” Who do you know that may not be doing so well?
  • Give something to help – time, goods, money. What can you spare? How can you make a difference to just one person, or to many?

It can be a wonderful time of year, and I encourage you to look for and find all the happiness and joy that you can.

Be kind to yourself and those around you. Make this festive season a special one by the way you care for yourself and others.

Live well,