Thinking of taking a break from counselling this Christmas?
We live in a consumerist society and constantly have to make decisions around budgeting and where to best direct our money. Coming up to Christmas can be an especially stressful time where many can feel obliged to take part in exchanging gifts with friends or co-workers as well as family members. Those of us that are also parents have the additional pressure of having to negotiate the demands of children that are often whipped into a frenzy by ever-increasing adverts for new and expensive toys.
Thoughts about cutting back in other areas of life in order to fund the likely increase in spending can easily turn to areas that actually help us manage our well-being like counselling and other supportive services.
Even though this may seem a great quick fix in the moment, it is important to remember that counselling is different from say... a haircut, or a meal out. You have a relationship with your counsellor that informs your work together, and long breaks in that relationship can significantly slow down your progress as well as that all important feeling of being held.
Additionally, we are now swiftly approaching what can easily be the most stressful time of year for many, and if you are already experiencing family issues, all the heightened expectations around Christmas being a magical time of family harmony can easily aggravate a situation you are already struggling to contain.
If you have lost a loved one, it can be extremely tricky to deal with this loss, even if it happened years ago, at a time where it can appear that everyone else has everyone dear to them close by. For some people it can also be challenging to feel connected to their roots, because their family and friends live abroad.
Whatever your set up, now is a good time to strengthen your support network and increase your self care, and you will most likely have a better time over the festive period and are less likely to fall into depression afterwards. It is a well know fact that the first weeks in January usually see a sharp increase in low moods and even suicide attempts.
So if you are seeing a counsellor already, you will most likely have a break over the actual holidays anyhow, but try not to extend it unnecessarily, as that is most likely a false economy. You may be withdrawing vital support from yourself and experience unnecessary anguish in the long run.
If you do not have a counsellor already and you think this Christmas may be a tricky time for you, or past experience has taught you so, now is a good time to look for the right person for you as you will be able to start building the relationship before the event and it will be easier to deal with the aftermath together.
Counselling is a hugely supportive activity to engage in and can go a long way in understanding yourself and your relationships better, which can positively impact on all areas of your life. Even significant traumas and losses can safely be addressed and their impact lessened over time.
So if you want to treat yourself this Christmas, consider keeping up your counselling or finding the right counsellor for you and make a start on your journey of self discovery.
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