Taking care of each other over the festive season.
So, here we are at the cusp of the festive season, almost daring to take our foot off the accelerator and allowing ourselves to visualise the summer sun and imagine the sound of waves crashing gently on the shore of a destination we worked hard all year to get to. For many it’s a trip home to catch up with family and meander through the local markets, breakfast at a favourite café, a nod and a smile to familiar faces and that lovely feeling of being connected to the neighbourhood. If asked what the things that make you feel happy are, we imagine simple activities like these come pretty close.
The key word here of course is connected.
For most of the year we are so consumed with our own reality that we forget to “see” others. We rush into our time off, so determined to make the most of it and it’s not until two days into our holiday that we have that “aha” moment, that moment where you take a really big, deep breath and allow yourself to let go.
So, what happens when we let go?
We reflect, we slow down and let the gentle ocean breeze soften and warm our bodies and our thoughts. But before we start the “I’m gonna” list for 2018, think about all the people in your life, whether they work with you, they are your friends or family and ask yourself, “do I know where they are and are they OK?”
We have this moment, this opportunity to reach out and let someone know that we are thinking of them. We’re guessing that we all know someone who is far away from their family or who may be alone and could potentially find this time of year very confronting and difficult. Those times of loneliness bring back memories of loss or disappointment, and can leave some in a dark place. Open your heart and make room to include them.
Beyond Blue advise that social isolation is a risk factor for depression, so it is important to think realistically about holidays and try and help those alone to be around people who can support them.
For urgent assistance call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.