As I write today it is Thanksgiving in the USA and they will be in the throws of celebration and joy.
For us, Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier, and the grey clouds of depression are gathering for far too many.
As I say every year, don’t get drawn in to the happy, jolly adverts that bombard us at this time of the year. Films of happy family faces brimming with kindness, we all know that not everyone will be filled with festive cheer.
We can all look back to Christmas’s past with rose tinted glasses, I know in my family we all put on a festive face and were polite but would escape as soon as possible. If you were lucky enough to have memories of wonderful times, then hold on to those.
Millions of families across the world will not be having fun.
In Yemen little children are dying because they have no food, countries at war with one another, and yes, families at war.
Families at war, trapped in division and destruction.
It is so hard to stop ourselves thinking how things could be, the ‘if onlys’ kick in.
Millions of children will also be wondering.
Why am I not allowed to see Dad/Mum, why can’t I see gran and grandad?
The years of separation for many have caused life long damage.
Christmas will come, we can’t avoid it, so we need to have strategies in place to try and help us.
We need to allow a time for sadness to acknowledge our hurt and pain, but then think of ways you might be able to help others.
Helping someone else is a two way thing, by helping out that hand of friendship will make you feel better as well.
There are countless ways you can get involved in something.
Always also remember, that those who have hurt you so badly, are not affected at all, they are just carrying on with their lives.
Don’t ever give them the satisfaction of knowing how they have inflicted such pain on you.
You are the better person.
We will probably never know what made them behave in such a barbaric way, but we can change the response from ourselves.
As I do every year here are a few tips that may or may not help.
Remember that Christmas is not as appears on the TV ads, not all families are gathering in joy and harmony!
1: Put up lights or a special decoration, maybe a small table top tree.
2: Invite someone else who is alone to spend time with you.
3: Volunteer to help out in one of the many organizations who offer a welcome to those less fortunate than ourselves.
4: Give yourself some quiet time.
5: Remember what Christmas is about. The first Christmas wasn’t full of materialistic things it was about hope.
6: Plan something special.
7: Go somewhere you have never been before.
8: Write a poem or song.
9: Play music, have a film marathon.
10: Have your own act of remembrance, that could be hanging something special on a tree, planting some bulbs or lighting a candle.
11: Go for a walk, look at nature and al that it offers, check out new buds just forming, a sign of Spring.
12: Arrange a Skype chat with others who are feeling low.
13: Indulge a little.
14: Do something you have never done before.
Above all else be kind to yourself.