There is no denying 2020 has been a difficult year, and as much as we’d love to be able to celebrate Christmas in the way we’ve become accustomed – this year is looking a bit different. With various restrictions looking set to remain in place throughout December – a month normally full to the brim of festive celebrations – it is completely normal to mourn the loss of Christmas done in our usual way.
Christmas hasn’t always been a “go big or go home” celebration wrapped up in consumerism and excess, it’s just got bigger and bigger as the years have rolled on. Let’s take this stripped back Christmas and reframe it for 2020.
A TIME TO BE THANKFUL
This time last year we certainly couldn’t have predicted how the year ahead was going to unravel. This year has been a lot for us all, and we particularly remember those who have lost loved ones prematurely.
Let us take some time over the next few weeks to be thankful for the loved ones we have around us, despite not always physically being able to be in close proximity. Practising gratitude can have a positive impact on our mental health, and helps us to focus on the good things we do have around us.
A TIME FOR REST
Christmas can often be a time for excess, endless social commitments, and piling the pressure on to ensure the “perfect” Christmas has been had by all. By the time Christmas Day arrives we can be exhausted! The season of Winter is a time to slow down, to hibernate, to rest and recharge – the complete opposite to how we normally fill this season. So, let’s be led by the natural winter season – to slow down, to rest, to re-charge, to enjoy Christmas – with a gentle, reflective approach letting go of our usual expectations.
A TIME TO GIVE
Normally we’re focusing on the presents we’re going to be buying, maybe you’d be hitting the shops hard, and maybe you’re still planning to – which is absolutely cool. But, some of us may have been hit hard financially and buying presents is another thing to worry about. There are ways to give without having to overdo your bank balance. Giving doesn’t always have to look like physical presents, giving someone the gift of your time – checking in on friends who might be struggling – can feel priceless to those on the receiving end.
A TIME TO BE KIND
Starting with ourselves. Taking some time to be kind to our minds. Our minds and bodies have been through a year of ups and downs. From changes in education or working environments, to maybe the grief of loss in whatever way we have been touched by loss this year. Take a moment to be kind to yourself through your internal dialogue, because we very much have made it through this challenging time. Be kind to yourself over this festive period – take that lie-in or extended bath or shower. Know that this year you have done your absolute best. We’ve adapted and overcome many challenges including maybe our Christmas plans this year. Keep going, you have got this. We are so proud of you.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
If you need to speak to anyone over this holiday season, please do Text HECTOR to 85258 – you are not alone.