So, I’m writing this in mid-November and already Christmas is upon us and the shops are filling up with gifts and decorations. Very soon the Christmas music will be blaring out with Wizzard, wishing it could be Christmas Every Day.
For many people, however, Christmas is not a happy time. In fact, it could be the case that the happier the rest of the world is, the worse they feel.
Christmas is traditionally about togetherness and family. For people who are already lonely or finding life difficult it can seem as if everyone else is having a great time. All around them, people are getting together and celebrating which can emphasise their isolation further.
Many people will spend Christmas time grieving for people who are no longer with them. Mourning the loss of a loved one is a deep and difficult challenge at any time, but the holiday season can magnify their sense of loss. Family gatherings and festive celebrations can be painful reminders of absence and loss.
For some it’s the time for reliving family breakdown. The expectation that we will spend Christmas with our loved ones, can remind people of the broken relationships within their family.
For people without family or friends to spend the festive period with, Christmas can reinforce their sense of loneliness and isolation.
On a more practical level, Christmas brings its own stress. Financial problems – getting into debt in order to buy presents. Juggling work, catering, shopping, decorating the house, over-excited children, arguing relatives… all come together to creative a maelstrom of stress and anxiety.
Stay safe this Christmas and remember that you are not alone. Coming for counselling at this time of year can give you a space to reflect on how your feelings and support you through a difficult period of the year.