To many of us, Christmas is a time for family, love and laughter. But for some, Christmas is no different to any other time of the year, as loneliness and isolation presses on their lives, minds and hearts: the elderly, the homeless, the orphans and many others. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own way of living that we forget or we ignore or we pretend. Who could you reach out to? Perhaps it’s the homeless man you walk passed everyday on your way to work or the neighbour on your street or the elderly grandparent. What could you do? Have a simple short conversation or send them a letter or pay them a visit. Even the smallest acknowledgements that the lonely are still fellow beings can greatly brighten their day. Because they are still human. In a dark time of loneliness, we can be one beacon of light.
Sometimes we have to push ourselves. And sometimes we have to pay the price. Stress isn’t all bad; it can spark our mind and body into action in response to a problem or situation. But high levels of stress can have the opposite effect, causing our mind and body to shut down in isolation, fear, lethargy, anger, and depression. Stress shouldn’t ever be a positive indicator to demonstrate how hard we’re working. Stress shouldn’t ever become a shadow that haunts us. It’s much more valuable to look after ourselves. It’s ok to take a breath to sit, to think, to re-prioritise, to re-energise. We’re designed to need a rest. It’s ok to admit that we cannot do everything. We cannot place these pressures on ourselves. It doesn’t make us weak or incapable. Stress will make us weak and incapable in the long term. Don’t let it break you.