We are now building up to the Festive season, a time of festivities, celebration, families coming together with love and laughter, a time when there is a sense of peace around the world and “goodwill to all men”. Enjoying the lights and decorations on trees, houses and in towns, seeing excitement build in the faces of children young and old.
There has long been a debate of whether society has forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, where it has become commercialised, all about the size, cost, number and quality of gifts given, rather than the true meaning at the very heart of what Christmas is meant to symbolise. Whether you are Religious and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ or, like me, see it as a time to promote peace, provide forgiveness and for families to forget their squabbles and come together to celebrate their love for one another.
Christmas is certainly a joyous time, whatever your reason for getting excited and joining in with the festivities, there is no disguising the fact that it promotes a powerful sense of positivity and can unite people of all faiths, beliefs, culture and social background, to the point whereby it empowers individuals to stop fighting their wars, if but for a short time.
That being said, the Festive season can also bring increased levels of Stress and Anxiety, which could lead to Depression in some, due to reasons such as;
- The ‘To Do’ list – There are more jobs on the list, in addition to your every-day tasks
- Comparisons – To friends and family and the seemingly “perfect” lives of others on social media
- Finances – Costs of presents, food, social drinks, travelling to visit others
- Christmas shopping – Enough said!
- Family – Visiting family members we don’t get on with, having them for the day or stay over
- Reflection – As New Year approaches, the ‘Should of, Could of, Would of’ thinking begins
- Isolation – Not just about being physically alone, but also, not feeling connected to those around you
- What’s Missing – Criticising your life, relationships, money, house, career, could life be better?
These are the more “typical” Festive Stressors that the majority of society experience in some form over the Festive period, with some of the Stressors being accepted as a “given” at this time of year. However, unfortunately for many, there can be a much darker side to this time of year, when Festive Stress begins to impact negatively on key components of your life, such as relationships, finances, career and your overall wellbeing, with no interventions, self-care or self-help, then it can lead to Depression.