tel: 042 9331803
mob: 086 0381073

Post Christmas blues.

Depression — admin @ 11:08 am

Here at counselling connections it has been a quiet week. The feeling we get is of people emerging from a sort of ordeal. We are surprised by the language used to describe the post-Christmas period. People ask ‘how did you get over the Christmas’ or even ‘how did you survive the Christmas’. It sounds funny when you point it out but that is the nature of a good deal of the chat this week. Having expected so much from the holiday it seems like people might be feeling a little down. You wouldn’t think that the holiday was actually something that people were preparing for and looking forward to for months. But therein lays a clue to the deeper meanings of this time of the year.

Christmas is about mid winter; the turn of the year and more importantly the end of darkness and the beginning of a letting in of light. On Christian level it is about the birth of a baby and all that this baby represents. But the season has been celebrated for many millennia and how the modern feast is celebrated retains traces of the earlier pagan form. So much of the season seems to be about excess and this is where the idea of having to survive or overcome it originates. Maybe it is about getting rid of the last of the darkness; the bad in us while we prepare to let in the light and try to be good.

There are a few milestones over the holidays which are to be marked or overcome or endured depending on your point of view. One is the solstice which is at the heart of things. It has been enjoying a bit of a revival of interest in recent years especially in these parts where we are so geographically close to the passage tombs of our ancestors. This is closely followed then by the Christian celebration of Christmas itself. And one week later is the official calendar New Year. Somewhere in the midst of all of this many will also have an office Christmas party and family get togethers. It is all spread out over quite a period of time and it is no wonder that the talk is of ‘getting over’ it.

These things are aspects of public or group events where the individual is called upon to partake sometimes it seems in spite of their better judgement or intentions. There is the sense of an obligation to take part and join in the sort of hysteria that abounds in the run up to Christmas. It is something that people describe as being hard to avoid. How many of us have stood in the shopping street or mall in the days before Christmas with only one thing left to buy but with the slightly panicky temptation to grab a load more ‘stuff’ for nobody in particular? There are clues to a way out of the cycle in both the spread out nature of the events and the group versus individual aspects of it all.

The public landmarks of this time of year represent not only the change of the seasons and the turn of the year. They also replicate personal or internal undulations of mood and expectation. We go through natural cycles of fluctuation in how we feel or in our outlook. We can celebrate and enjoy things or we can consume to excess in a sort of denial where we are in fact detached from our self and our own natural cycles. Some people have a good way of working these things out through a process which is like integrating these highs and lows of life on an ongoing basis. This is like a daily, internal renewal which is akin to the bigger cycle of renewal which is separated out into the public events of this time of year. So it seems that with a little work it is possible to break these big things down into a day by day personal process. It is possible to personalise the great public celebrations into smaller internal ones without the great highs which are followed by great lows. In this version of events this time of year is integrated and enjoyed quietly rather than becoming something which has to be endured.

Counselling Connections, Dundalk.

Copyright © 2011 Counselling Connection, designed by Aura Internet Services