It's the festive season and shoppers are going mad, the christmas decorations and all the beautiful lights are up. It's the happiest time of the year... right?
Wrong. For some people this season brings mostly dread, stress and a whole range of negative emotions. Maybe not for the whole season, and maybe not visible to you and I on the outside but this time of year often holds more than just the joy of spending time with family, the excitement of exchanging gifts and the love of the christian Christmas story.
Wonderful; True, it is a wonderful time of year, for me I get to see my family who I hardly see throughout the year and spend precious moments with them!!
Difficult; Particularly those with mental health issues, the winter is a difficult period. The dark nights and colder weather brings a dullness, and sadness to their everyday. No bright sunshine to lift the mood, no warmth, just a load of negativity. For others, Christmas can be a reminder of those who aren't joining us at our dinner table this year, the loss of loved ones in a variety of ways is even more visible at this time as we get together.
Joyful; The joy on peoples faces as they open their gifts, as they spend time with family members and even just the joy and happiness of christmas parties, the christmas music and having fun with close friends and family in all the festivities!! How can you not feel at least a smidgen of joy in these activities? Some people struggle!! Although if you are someone who believes in the 'meaning of christmas' and the Christian story, surely there is some Joy in that message, that Jesus is born! Hard to not be happy when babies are involved!!
Stressful; Depending on your job, your financial status or even your ability to socialise can bring a huge amount of stress to your Christmas experience. Some people, especially those working in churches or The Salvation Army have a VERY busy time of year, helping those who are homeless, preparing christmas meals for christmas day or otherwise, playing carols in the streets and the list goes on and on!!!
So you may be a person who absolutely loves this time of year and feels nothing but Joy and Happiness, but don't forget that although some people may look as though they feel this, but in reality they may not be.
So from me, a very happy christmas to you all, I hope you all find some joy, wonder, peace and happiness in this festive season even if it also brings sadness, difficulty and stress!!
All the best for the New Year everyone!!!