I just wanted to write a short post about Christmas. Yes, yes, there's articles aplenty about Christmas and how to cope with it. Actually there's a very decent one here written by a therapist colleague which manages to give actual advice rather than the bogus advice usually amounting to "bake the mince pies in advance" (as she sums it up).
So I wanted to reassure those of you that might be feeling less than magical about the festive season that you are not alone.
There are reasons why this is the busiest time of year for my counselling service and here's a few of them:
Bereavement - Christmas is a prime time to miss a loved one who's no longer with us. The gap left can be made even more unbearable during the holiday season when everybody is pressurised into celebrating the presence of family and friends
Loneliness - all those cheery adverts showing huge family gatherings and parties just highlight this
Family issues - again, those films and ads show us how we're supposed to be doing it. But maybe our family is dysfunctional, antisocial, abusive, absent or just pretty annoying
Money - oh dear, all those gifts, that special food, those nights out…our finances get a hammering and there is so much pressure, especially when there's kids involved
Winter blues - Christmas is allegedly based on a Pagan festival celebrating the return of the light aka the Winter Solstice. The thing is, that lack of light can cause winter blues or even SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and a form of mild depression. That's not conducive to having a festive spirit is it?
I am receiving enquiries daily. This doesn't happen in the Summer. There must be a reason for this…
Maybe, just maybe, Christmas is actually rubbish for quite a few of us.