• Clare O'Brien


When I tried to answer this question for myself I immediately knew it wasn’t a simple yes or no answer. I wondered if other people would have the same experience, so I left my office and went on the hunt for colleagues.

Each colleague I met I asked the same question, ‘Is Christmas good for your Mental Health?’ Again it wasn’t a simple yes or no answer and whichever answer a colleague gave they followed with the reasons for their initial response.

Some said Christmas was too stressful trying to organise everything and it was a financial strain. Another said he felt it was good for his mental health because he has a chance to catch up with family and friends he may not have seen all year. Another colleague said Christmas brought painful memories to mind. Someone else said it was only good for her mental health at 10pm on Christmas Eve when she could relax.

We are all given messages that Christmas is a happy time. We are bombarded with Christmas adverts showing happy families with plenty of delicious food sharing gifts and laughter. We see Christmas trees with their pretty sparkling lights standing proudly in people’s windows. We can’t avoid hearing Christmas songs in every shop we set foot into and the usual Christmas films will be shown on TV.

Then it’s the annual office Christmas party that seems to be great fun at the time yet it’s not unheard of to have regrets the following day!

No matter how commercial Christmas becomes when all is said and done Christmas is about family and friends and for Christians a time to celebrate their faith. It’s also a time to reflect upon the past year. Christmas can be an extremely happy time; it can also be an extremely sad time of year. It can be stressful and difficult, exciting and heart-warming.

For me, I also like to think of Christmas as a time of possibilities and dare I say it even miracles.

Please look after your mental health this Christmas knowing that all things pass and whether it be a good one or not Christmas 2018 will come and go.

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