Most of us love Christmas ~ a chance to unwind, zen out, eat, drink and be merry ~ and of course spend time with loved ones.
Crooned as ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ it may be ~ but for many of us, myself included, it can be a time filled with anxiety and depression.
As someone who practices, teaches and studies yoga, with a truly wonderful family around her, the best group of friends I could ask for, and for the last four years, the most generous and supportive boyfriend out there ~ it feels very ungrateful that in a world full of loneliness, homelessness and abject poverty, there’s a part of me that begins to panic and allow anxiety to build inside me around the 22nd December. Every year.
But it’s also kind of understandable, right? And aren’t all of our issues relative (to some degree)? Regardless of acknowledging how lucky we are, even by simply having a roof over our heads, so many of us do come from broken homes, spend Christmas alone, or have lost someone very special to them in the past, or this year ~ and that’s in my friendship circle alone!
Anxiety and depression feel rife at this time of year because the pressure for perfection is heightened!~And let’s face it, most of our realities hardly resemble a multi-million pound, John Lewis blockbuster Christmas advert! So instead of focusing on what we do have and who we do have around us, we get a little wrapped up (wheeeey!) in what we are missing.
Some of what/who we are missing is of course very painful ~ and I’m not taking that away from anyone. But it is also a wonderful time of year to be grateful for those we do have and either acknowledge ~ or do something for those less fortunate. There is always someone worse off after all.
My Christmas anxiety stems from the perma-sting of one Christmas Eve at my grandparent’s house when I was 11 years old; sat at the dining room table with all the family together waiting for my dad to join us for dinner. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Watching the expression on my mum’s face from across the table move from patience, to frustration, to anger, to humiliation, to pain when he didn’t turn up that night.
Shortly after Christmas she told us they were divorcing.
I’m so lucky to have the most incredible grandparents, mum, sister, aunties, uncles ~ and the bond I have with my cousins is unreal. But that sting is there, softening every year, but an everlasting memory.
SO ~ this morning I decided to donate to three charities that give back to children, especially over Christmas, and perhaps this post will inspire you to do the same.
If not, no sweat, but instead maybe take five minutes to think of five people that you can’t wait to spend the holidays with this year, send them some love ~ and know just how lucky you are.
~ l o v e a n d n a m a s t e ~
Save The Children
There are many ways to support this huge charity, all year round. Their Pay In Your Christmas Jumper Day initiative is quite fun ~ whether you have been to a party wearing an outlandish festive garm, or simply bought one for yourself because, you know ~ fashion. You can follow that link and make a donation for the pleasure.
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity helps to make life better for seriously ill children in the UK. Their team of Roald Dahl Nurses provide support to children with serious illnesses, and their families, believing that every child should have the best possible healthcare. The dude gave us James And The Giant Peach, let’s return the karma with either a direct debit or a one-off donation.
The Rainbow Trust supports families who have a child aged 0-18 years with a life threatening or terminal illness and need the bespoke support we offer. Today there are an estimated 49,000 children and young people in the UK living with a life limiting or life threatening condition who may require palliative care; and many of these children and their families are able to cope or are not in a ‘crisis situation’. For as little as £3 (WAY less than a pint!) you can make a one-off donation here.
Thank you for reading, sharing love and donating… xxxx