Christmas is a time of year where family and friends come together to celebrate. It’s about being around your loved ones, for some people about finding solace in religion, and essentially about having a ‘break’ from the wear and tear of every day life. It’s the time of year where things can sometimes seem magical. Good food and exchanging presents and meeting up with old friends and twinkly fairy lights decorating the streets.
Unfortunately, for many people Christmas isn’t so great. For lots of different reasons, the pressure to be ‘jolly and bright’ over the holiday season can be just another reminder of your own misery. For those who are homeless, for those who are poor, those who are alone or grieving, and for those who are struggling with mental illness, Christmas (not just on the 25th but the whole period itself) can be extremely difficult. It can be so difficult that every year suicide rates escalate over the December period. It’s a terrifying reality.
Find the goodness in your heart this Christmas and look out for other people. If you can afford it, donate to your local food banks. If you know someone who is missing a loved one this Christmas, send them a heartfelt message or write them a card. And if you have a friend or family member who has a mental health issue, please understand that they’re not being intentionally difficult and they’re probably hurting even more usual.
You can find your closest food bank to donate to via this website:
If you are struggling with mental health over Christmas, the Samaritans are available 24/7:
116 123 (UK)
I hope everyone has a safe Christmas and goes into the New Year with high hopes for the future.