Look after your wellbeing this Christmas

Article from Brenda Brunsdon, Occupational Health and Wellbeing Team Manager:

Change is a constant in life and sometimes, we need to mentally reframe, or redecide our approach to something to be able to accept the change it brings. One of the major traits of resilient people is how they cope with change and they usually do it by reframing how they see the situation that has developed.

Take Christmas. Once solely a religious festival, in many ways it now represents a family-centric mid-winter fest, with lots of opportunity to party alongside any praise and thanks related to the coming of salvation.

Christmas though is not a season of joy for everyone. If you are one of those people dreading Christmas, for whatever the reason, remember that the University Employee Assistance Programme is staffed to take your call at any time, day or night. The telephone number is 0808 168 2143 and it doesn’t cost you anything to call.

Our relationship with Christmas changes over time. When we are children Christmas means mystery, anticipation and excitement. Teenage years bring the angst of not knowing whether to be a child or a grown up. We then mature into young adults without responsibilities, partying through Christmas; then young parents with children and the cycle begins again.

All our family losses are marked at Christmas, the person not at the family get-togethers, the card that doesn’t arrive for 2 years running. They are balanced by the joys of new members of the family, especially children. Our relationship with Christmas shows we can cope with change and have the skill to psychologically reframe as we go through life.

The essence of Christmas is hope. The Christmas Story is that the Child is born, the wait is over; when He grows, He will usher in a time of love, kindness, and forgiveness for all. This year, we really need hope back in our lives. And the glimmers of hope are there on the horizon, with the roll out of the Covid 19 vaccine.

I wish everyone who reads this a peaceful, restful and happy Christmas Holiday period. I hope that those who have been touched by sadness and loss over the past 12 months can start to heal and move forward. 2021 is very near and, hopefully, it’s going to bring solutions to the problems of 2020.

‘What is Resilience? Defining Resilience’: by Emma Ogilvie on resiliencetraining.co.uk

‘Reframe Unhelpful Thoughts’: YouTube video by Every Mind Matters

‘The Importance of Hope; How to be more Hopeful’: by Paul Thomas on selfhelpforlife.com, article and video

Information on the Employee Assistance Programme on OH website