Showing posts from December, 2015

New Year, New Opportunity.

As the air becomes rife with both reflections and resolutions, it's clear that the chapter of 2015 is coming to a close. Whatever did or didn't happen this year simply can't be changed now, but we can begin to write our ideal drafts of the New Year's opening paragraph. Looking back can stir up plenty of emotion depending on how we perceive the year we've just had. There may have been change, challenges, setbacks or triumphs - whatever there was, we'll likely be selective about how we're choosing to look at it. As with anything, I'd be an advocate of focusing on the positive and seeking out the learnings. Yeah I'm sure some or plenty of it wasn't ideal, but isn't it fantastic to know what you don't want to bring into 2016? Isn't it helpful to be able to identify stuff you want to work on? The New Year is a brilliant time to start fresh, to awaken your eyes to its vast blank canvas and start thinking of how you want to fill it in. T

Dear You,

So the day has now arrived and I'd say this may be met with mixed emotions. Some of you may be counting down the hours til the damn day is finally over but others might be genuinely excited to see what's in store this year. Either way, this Christmas message is for you, because regardless how it is this year, I want each Christmas from here on out to bring more and more joy to your life. Because that's exactly what they've brought for me and I couldn't be any more grateful. I get that Christmas is a challenging time. I completely understand the dread, the depression, the desire to lock yourself up in your room for the day and stay away from everyone and everything. (Speaking from experience) I struggled hugely with it in the past and between the food, the people and the pressure I'd completely overthink and over-stress about it. My destructive mental state would dominate and suck every potential ounce of joy right out of my day. This year, I've seen mo

Tips From A Carer for Christmas

Being a carer of someone with mental health issues can be a tricky task at the best of times but Christmas in particular can be a very challenging time for all - both the person who is suffering from the illness and the people around them. Christmas is such a time of festivities that when you're not feeling quite yourself it can be tough to cope with all the jollity and it can even bring you down further when you just don’t feel capable of joining in. I have spent several years with my two daughters who have battled mental health issues and suicide ideation was particularly prevalent at Christmas time. During this period of time we put a few strategies in place in order to help them and then hoped for the best. Below are just some suggestions that might help you. Ø We always let our children know that we loved them. Ø That they were important to us. Ø That we were there for them. Ø We stayed in contact with them during the days and nights. Ø We made sure

10 Gifts to Give Yourself This Christmas

Conquering Christmas Week #4 The Christmas season is a fantastic opportunity for giving. A quick peek into any shopping centre this weekend would confirm just how eager we are to embrace this. We flock to the shops, lengthy lists in hand to seek out gifts for those special people in our lives. Hours go by agonising over decisions, joining never-ending queues and sitting in crawling traffic.  It's no easy feat but we go through the rigmarole because we want to have something to give to others on Christmas day. We want to see them smile and we want to show that we were thinking of them. Not only do they benefit, but in the process of giving we end up feeling pretty good too. But what about the most important person in our lives? Where are we on our lists? Considering the feel-good after effects, surely it'd make sense to give ourselves a bit of this love and thought too. Not only would we get to reap the beautiful benefits but it's even an easier gift to give bec

Conquering Christmas Week #3

Festive Fears Most of our apprehension around Christmas time has its roots in a plethora of fears. Carol-singing, twinkle lights and gifts aren't exactly the most ominous, so what is there in a season of festive cheer that can actually cause so much dread?  Fears are personal to us all, and whether we have few or many we're all familiar with that incessant uncomfortable feeling. It might be the foods, the people, our family, shopping, pressure, stress; the list goes on and on. There could be Christmas parties and social outings that we'd rather avoid. There's not exactly a one fear fits all to this time of year, so it's important to figure out what it is for you and how you plan to conquer it. Regardless its origin, fear works in the same way once it rears its ugly head. But, that's my favourite thing about it - learning to overcome your fears is a transferable skill. What works for one fear will work for them all. How do we conquer Christmas conc

Conquering Christmas Week #2

What is on your Santa list? Like most things as we grow up, the magic of Christmas seems to sneakily simmer away, eventually leaving us in that terrible category of  'grown up' where we actually have to think about the less fun parts of the festivities.  With no jolly big man in a red suit providing whatever we want, that space can quickly be filled with us providing whatever we can worry about. As a child, all we had to do was write down what we wanted, be particularly good and more often than not, we'd wake up on that special morning to a stocking that'd make us grin from ear to ear. But now, we fill our minds with all the stuff we don't want, what we're worrying about, what we 'should' do, all the stuff that 'has to' be done. In any scenario where we're creating more misery than magic - it's time to change something up. Regardless how little you want to embrace Christmas, fighting it with a fistful of fears and worries isn't