Do you struggle with this time of year? You are not alone!
It’s the time of year again when pressures on us can seem to be overwhelming. We may have just laid out a small fortune for Halloween costumes and/or parties, it’s bonfire night on Saturday – more expense, or we may be worried about the health and safety of our beloved pets when the fireworks explode loudly, and then we realise only seven weeks to Christmas when expectations and pressures can begin to overwhelm us. Apart from the financial implications on probably every single one of us, there’s the annual arguments around friends and family; who to invite, who not to invite, where should we spend Xmas day, Boxing day, etc. If we add this to the thousands of people who may experience a decline in their mood when the days are short and the nights can appear very long it is little wonder that so many of us literally do not know how we are cope and maybe feel we have no-one who will actually listen or understand how we are actually feeling. For many of we carry on our daily lives “wearing a mask” pretending to the outside world that everything is absolutely fine.
This can be one of the best times of year to access counselling. It can offer a unique experience where we are offered a safe and confidential environment to offload all ours fears, concerns and worries in a space where we are accepted and not judged. We can experience being listened to and to actually being heard, maybe for the very first time. It gives us an opportunity to explore what is happening for us in the here and now; our concerns for the future, our experiences from the past and this can prove extremely powerful. It allows us to process our thoughts and feelings and empowers us to make decisions that feel right to us. I am not for one moment saying that by accessing counselling all our problems are solved or our issues resolved once and for all, but what it can offer is one hour a week in which you can truly be yourself, and in this space you can work together with your therapist to get you the tools you need to cope with the issues that are important to you and are impacting on you quality of life.
Claire’s tips for this time of year:
- It’s alright to admit you are struggling; it shows strength not weakness.
- Be kind to yourself; allow yourself some time out – this is not a luxury, it is a necessity for your emotional and physical well-being.
- Talk to someone; if not a therapist, a friend, colleague or relation – the relief when something is out there and shared can be absolutely huge.
Finally, whatever you decide to do make sure that it feels right, listen to your gut, sometimes it speaks more sense than almost anyone else.
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About Claire Routledge
Claire Routledge Reg MBACP.
Experienced, professional and approachable person centred therapist.