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….And Breathe: Time for Yourself

….And Breathe: Time for Yourself

A mental-wellbeing column by Kristen Bauer 

As November rolled in, I couldn’t help the sense of panic that washed over me as I realised the year was almost up and the festive season was fast approaching! Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and all the wonderful, festive activities that come along with it, but there is so much to do! 

I will admit that I suffer from a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). This means that I usually put a huge amount of pressure on myself to make the most out of the festive season. I want to attend every party, Christmas market, light switch on and any other Christmas event that you can think of. Not to mention all the gifts I still need to buy and are we doing Secret Santa this year? I’ll add that to the list. 

Just thinking about it all can put one into a spin. As lovely as Christmas can be, it is also overwhelming for many. There is an expectation to have a good time, to be happy during Christmas which can be hard if you’re suffering from poor mental health or any other emotional difficulty. Even if this isn’t the case, there seems to be an added layer of stress over Christmas for everything to go smoothly. 

This got me thinking; what matters the most over Christmas? To me, it’s spending time with the people I love and being thankful for all the good things that have happened in the year gone by. Just thinking about how far we’ve come in the battle against Corona Virus and how different Christmas will be for us this year gives me hope. 

If this time of year is difficult for you, then please be kind to yourself. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Take some time to do something that brings you joy and if you need to, set some boundaries about what you would like to attend or participate in. The calendar tends to fill up fast and while it’s good to spend time with friends and family, you can take some time for yourself as well. Allow yourself to recharge so that you can really make the most of the events you choose to attend. 

I came across a beautiful quote while writing this and it says, “Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” (Ruth Carter Stapleton) So perhaps this year that’s what I’ll focus on instead, not having the “perfect” Christmas but being a source of love and light to those around me and who knows, it may be the best Christmas yet! 

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