T’is the season to be jolly…but what if you’re feeling anything but?
The season of goodwill is generally characterised by merriment and cheer, seen as a time to celebrate with those we hold dear. But for many people Christmas can be a tremendously challenging and stressful time, compounded by the social expectations to be ‘happy’ and live up to the idealised image of the ‘perfect family’ presented to us in films and on TV.
Whilst I am truly blessed to spend Christmas with a loving caring family with whom I share many a fond festive memory, I realise it’s not like that for everyone. I spare a thought for those coping with adversity, bravely battling behind the facade of an outward smile, silently crying on the inside. I’ve been there, and know all too well how the festive season tends to exasperate and highlight our challenges, driving many people over the edge. It’s common knowledge that suicide rates peak at Christmas and New Year as stress levels, emotions and mounting debt reach boiling point. The consumerist pressure to purchase hits us like a ton of bricks, and often leaves a crippling effect upon our bank balance and anxiety levels.
So I write this piece in the hope to reach out to those struggling in any way, perhaps with financial hardship, depression, anxiety, bereavement, illness, loneliness, family break-ups, homelessness, infertility etc. I share with you some coping mechanisms and tips that have helped minimise my meltdowns over the years in the hope that they help you enjoy a frazzle-free Christmas and restore some serenity to your season.