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The shops are all decorated with twinkling lights, groups of carol singers are making the rounds and Christmas is nearly here.  The 25th of December is promoted as a time of cheer which brings out the best in people, and a time when we can get together with loved ones and celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of another.

Yet for some, the season is not so eagerly anticipated, highlighting as it can the fact that certain people are not present this year to wish “Merry Christmas” to, perhaps because of divorce, separation, bereavement, a ‘flying of the nest’ or other circumstances.  For others, the holiday may mark the end of a difficult 12 months and an uncertain new year.  They may not wish to live in the way they have been living, but are nervous about the changes that will need to be put into place to improve things.  For some, Christmases past may hold more appeal than the one we have at hand.

I think sometimes that it is the mismatch between what we are led to believe we should be feeling and experiencing on December 25th and what it's really like for us that causes a lot of pain.  The need to put on a brave face to fit in with the merry throng can be very hard for those people who have a lot on their plate.  The irony is, however, that often the confidential disclosures I hear during the festive season paint a very different picture of life for the apparently happy husband, wife, parent or child.  

Sometimes it is helpful for clients to know that they are not alone in feeling glum and down at this time of year, and that many who they feel are the life and soul of the Christmas party can often be secretly struggling with something very close to their heart.

If you are having a tough time of it this Christmas, have you considered that talking things through with someone may help ease your burden?  And if things are pretty much OK for you this year, are you aware of someone who might benefit from you offering an understanding, listening ear?

Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com

Christmas: The Festive Season?

Christmas: The Festive Season? | Ashwood Therapy Wellbeing Blog