‘Tis the season to be jolly…. apparently

‘Tis the season to be jolly…. apparently

14 December 2022

by Sally Freestone, MindSpace volunteer

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly!… or so the festive song tells us.  If those words make you groan rather than leap with joy, you’re not alone.

For many the run-up to Christmas is a challenging time:  it can be incredibly busy, trying to fit in gift-buying, food-shopping, entertainment and socialising around an already full life.  The additional cost of Christmas can be worrying – particularly this year, when we are already facing increased costs in day-to-day living.  Pressure to have the perfectly-decorated home for the festive season seems to be all around, from magazines, TV and social media. And this festive season brings families and relationships into sharper focus.

And for some Christmas is a time of loneliness, bringing painful reminders of loved ones lost and those absent from us.  I remember my own experience, a few years ago – a relationship had recently ended and my plans to spend Christmas Day with a friend and her family fell through at the last minute, and I was left facing the prospect of spending the day alone.  When I realised that I could challenge my assumptions about what being alone at Christmas meant, I was able to approach it as “just another day” and take the opportunity to spend some quiet time, watching films and eating good food (albeit not a turkey dinner!). It wasn’t the Christmas I’d imagined, or wished for, but it was actually ok.

Christmas can seem a long time to be alone and indoors, with many of the usual social activities suspended.  Whilst MindSpace will be taking a break over the immediate Christmas period, there will still be ways to join in and meet up soon afterwards, including our Twixtmas Walks at Burghley Park on 27th and 29th December – an opportunity to get some fresh air, gentle exercise and connect:  all important for our mental wellbeing.  Check the website for details of this and other activities from now and into January, and start planning what you might like to do in the New Year.

Christmas may not be “the most wonderful time of the year”, but neither does it have to be “bah humbug”!  I hope that you find a way to make it a meaningful, peaceful and safe time for YOU.