For a lot of people, Christmas is full of love, happiness and festivities. For many others, however, it is a time when they struggle. Many can be at risk of violence or aggression, either as part of a continued cycle that they live in, or through people excessively drinking. Many, young and old, are at risk of abuse and neglect this Christmas time. And all ages are facing the daily wrestle with their mental health problems.
It can be an extremely difficult time. Media tells us we should be happy, joyful, and excited for the festivities. However, when you already struggle to feel happy, this added pressure can make you feel worse.
I will always remember something the late Robin Williams once said
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”
Now, I am not saying for a moment that the people around us act in a way to make us feel worse. For many, they will not even be aware of how you are feeling, unless you have opened to them. However, when those around you are celebrating and enjoying the festivities, if you struggle to involve yourself in this, then you can end up feeling isolated and apart from the crowd.
So what can be done?
For those of you getting involved in a big get together, maybe with the extended family and friends, just remember there may be one person in your group who doesn’t want to get excessively drunk and sing at the top of their voice. Rather than telling them to get in the spirit, or stop being grumpy, just take 5 minutes out to join them on the couch, or by the food, and just give them the chance to say hi. Be there, and it might just make their day.
Also, and I cannot stress this enough, if you see someone being physically or verbally abused, please speak up. Do not shrug it off as simply a drunken domestic, or the stress of Christmas. Yes, it might be a one off, but it could be a lot more. Just saying something can often be all that is needed. Of course, if it requires it, please contact the local authority in your area, and don’t get involved in being physical yourself.
Finally, remember the elderly in your area. I am not saying you have to invite them for lunch, or spend all day with them. But, if you know who they are, and think that they may not have had any family come round, then take them that last mince pie, or slice of cake. Offer to have a sherry with them. Just make sure they see someone. You never know, you may end up finding they have lived in the same area and knew your parents or grandparents as well.
For those of you in need, please seek help. A number of charities will still be open and happy to talk and listen. Rather than sit her and list every single charity that can help, please click here and it will give the main charities in your area.
I would like to wish all of you the best, and look forward to hearing from you in 2018.
Stay strong. Stay you