HAPPY Holidays! MERRY Christmas! Season’s GREETINGS! HAPPY New Year! Oh yes, everyone’s very, very happy aren’t they? Well of course they aren’t.
For many, especially for those in later years, Christmas brings back memories of lost loved ones, grief that has never truly been dealt with and crushing loneliness.
Christmas is not a special time for them. The TV can be the only company for days on end. Widows and widowers can find the ‘season of joy’ a real struggle.
So it is important for everyone - the people in this situation and the people around them - to recognise what is going on and do something positive to bring some cheer back to Christmas. To bring happiness at a potentially difficult time.
It's good to talk
One of the most important things you can do is engage with people. Family, friends, the local community… make someone feel wanted and you will feel wanted, too.
In Cumbria, to cite our own experience, communities are extremely supportive and close-knit. There are usually many events put on to encourage people to come together.
Even if that’s not possible, it’s not unusual to receive a friendly knock on the door from a neighbour to check everything is ok.
That kind of Christmas spirit is essential to help beat away the blues.
But what else can be done to beat the loneliness, the numbness inside that many people feel? It’s essential to lift your own spirits, and others will help, don’t worry.
The gift of giving
Christmas is a time for giving, and that might be a way of achieving extra happiness.
Not giving the grandchildren bigger, more expensive presents (although they won’t complain!), but more giving a piece of yourself, giving some of your time.
You’ll soon see how valuable you are at Christmas time if you volunteer to help at a food bank or soup kitchen, for example.
Or offer to help at a Christmas Fair, maybe in a school or a village hall. Put your baking skills to good use if you have any and help to raise money.
Or just help in whatever way you can. Often young families are busy and stressed at this time of year. If you know them well enough, maybe you can do some of the shopping for them?
You are valuable and important at Christmas time and don’t you forget it!
Make new memories
Ultimately, it might be time to make new memories. This can be a painful thing to consider, but it can be just as exciting, rewarding and life changing.
Because life does change. And maybe Christmases can change yet still be a happy time.
Maybe it’s ok to downsize that tree. Maybe it’s time to actually downsize your home and start an exciting new chapter in a friendly community.
Finally, if your health allows, and if it’s safe to do so (not too icy or snowy), get out and enjoy the fresh, crisp air at this time of year.
Or if you don’t like the cold, make sure you still keep your joints moving. Don’t waste your days and nights in front of Christmas TV.
Visit your pool, spa or sauna. Attend an exercise class. Maybe even treat yourself to some beauty therapy.
Whatever you choose to do this Christmas, we at Scalesceugh Hall & Villas wish you the very best for a season of happiness.