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Christmas is a strange time of year. It draws on many emotions, feelings and human needs, leaving some of us drained, depressed and feeling disconnected. The Commercialism of Christmas drives us all to strive for more, more, more; but in reality we don’t really need more in our lives to feel fulfilled. In retrospect we would probably feel more satisfied with less.

Christmas drives our emotions, ignited by nostalgia of times gone by, when, of course, Christmases were so much bigger, brighter and better – or so we believe! Of course this isn’t necessarily true; it’s just the reality we create in our heads, based on our feelings from the past.

For lots of reasons emotions are often at their highest during the Christmas period: the family come together, and tensions can sometimes be running high; we are constantly being told that we will feel happier, even when life can be challenging for some at this time.

To me, Christmas is really all about connection – one of our basic human needs. At Christmas we connect – hopefully – with loved ones past and present. We spend time together, sharing food, a few drinks and so create some priceless memories.

Emotional needs are very important and without them we may feel anxious, alone and depressed

In my opinion these are some of our basic emotional needs ….

  • We all need to feel a sense of belonging: to loved ones, to friends, to family, to something. Belonging makes us feel loved, a part of something bigger than us and helps us find connection in life.
  • We all need a sense of purpose in our lives – a reason to get out of bed. For a lot of people that will come from work, but a sense of purpose can be found in many other things; you just need to find what works for you!
  • We all need connection to something that is higher than ourselves. For some this could be God and religion, but that doesn’t have to be; a connection with nature, or something spiritual would also work. We all need to believe there is something watching out for us and guiding us.
  • We all tell ourselves stories every day in our lives. We believe those stories, and they influence our lives and make us live the lives we do. We create the stories we tell ourselves; we don’t have to believe them.

Belonging, purpose, transcendence and stories; in my opinion these are the building blocks to a more fulfilled life, and therefore a more contented one.

So have a special Christmas everyone. Hopefully you will find some, if not all, of your emotional needs being met. And remember; there are no rules! So whatever Christmas means to you is the best Christmas for you!

Have a great Christmas and New Year and speak again in 2018

Kind regards,

Rob Donnelly