26th August, 2009
Last Christmas & New Year - was it all you hoped it would be?
What does this year hold for you?
Victoria Wood once said: “It will be a traditional Christmas, with presents, crackers,
door slamming, and people bursting into tears..."
I am one of those annoying people who get excited at the mere thought of Christmas, I dream of waking up to a snow covered garden, I race to the window full of hope, but over the years I accept the relative madness that takes over my brain and turns me into a 5 year old, thankfully so do those who know me. Unfortunately Christmas doesn’t hold the same hope and excitement for everyone, it is the most emotionally loaded season and people dread it for a raft of reasons.
Experiencing emotional problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, domestic violence, affairs and family issues are hard enough to cope with on a day to day basis, but they tend to rise to the surface during the holidays. We are bombarded by images of a perfect Christmas, and our attempts to live up to unrealistic expectations create additional pressure. At a time of celebration and reflection, some people feel driven to despair, believing there is no way out.
Addictions don’t take a holiday and if you have experience of this you know how much harder it is when Christmas and New Year come around, the usual excuses take on a seasonal flavour while you carry on playing hide and seek with alcohol/money/credit cards; children learn to be quiet so as not to cause upset. When mum or dad walk in the front door does everyone hold their breath to see what mood they are in? Addictions affect everyone, but there is help.
As part of my job I have worked and lived away from home over Christmas and New Year, I know how lonely it can feel when everyone around you is busy and making plans. When your highlight of the day after work is a ready meal in front of the TV, it can be depressing, mind you, at least there won’t be arguments over The Sound of Music or The Great Escape, or who does the washing up!
Over the years have you set yourself up as ‘Party Central’? With so many of us feeling the pinch financially (maybe for the first time) this year’s party may have to be drastically downsized causing stress, anxiety, and embarrassment, how are you going to handle this?
When all around you is stressful sometimes the best thing to do is go for a walk, it doesn’t have to be for long; we all need to find time to ourselves, just 5 minutes can be enough to clear your head.
I acknowledge that there is only one Nigella Lawson and I am not her so I don’t expect to entertain or cook like her; as long as I don’t poison anyone then that is a success, if anyone doesn’t like my cooking, they can take over next year!
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