For some, Christmas is the best time of year, a time to relax, reset and spend time with family and friends. For others, Christmas is not quite so jolly and may be a poignant reminder of those lost or just an emotionally stressful time due to finances, family or illness.
Being mindful of everyone’s situation at Christmas can be hard, especially if you are feeling jovial, after all ‘tis the season to be jolly’. So rather than spoil the mood just add to the spirit of the season by acting with generosity, compassion and kindness.
Even the subtlest acts of kindness can be very meaningful to those that are struggling, a simple smile and a wave to a lonely neighbour or letting someone in the very long line, go first. Don’t forget the person behind the store counter that you may be frustrated with after waiting in line for 20 minutes. They are people too, with real needs and emotions, asking them, “So, how was your day?” and actually listening to their response is unexpected and can go a long way.
Other more obvious charitable acts, include supporting a charity by purchasing greeting cards, donating to a food bin at your local shopping centre or sponsoring a child at Christmas.
Clinical Psychologist, Dr Stan Steindl who sits on the board of the global movement, Charter for Compassion, admits that living compassionately can be hard. Often we would like to act more compassionately but putting words or thoughts into actions can be difficult.
“Living compassionately takes a lot of courage, and it helps us and others to feel healthier and happier. Think through your motivations and affirm your commitments. Then, if you take a risk and act with compassion, you won’t regret it” said Dr Steindl.
And finally, don’t forget yourself, in the words of Dalai Lama “If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.”
Psychology Consultants have a diverse team of male and female clinical psychologists committed to the health and wellbeing of their clients. To view the team and their areas of interest, visit the Brisbane Psychologists page of our website.