December is here! I can hardly believe it. Where did the year go? I’m sitting here at the office on a Friday morning waiting for the calls to come in. Waiting for someone in crisis to need my help. Thankfully, we haven’t gotten many calls lately. Usually this time of year lends itself to those suffering with depression or other mental illnesses to need counsel.
However, the hotline is quiet. That’s a good thing. December is probably one of the worst – if not the worst – month of the year for many people in this country. I’ve always found that surprising. December is a month of jolly holidays like Christmas, Winter Solstice, and Hanukkah. It’s filled with Christmas music, tree trimming, candle lighting, presents, and family gatherings.
But there is a darker side to December that most people don’t like to talk about. Having been an adult for the past 22 years, I can say that with each passing year, this month seems to get harder. If not for me, then for someone close to me. In general, I’ve noticed the past 3 years that people actually get quite mean. Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite?
Isn’t this supposed to be the time of year when we are a little nicer to each other? But I understand why it’s not the case for many people. While December is filled with beautiful lights and the wonderful aroma of freshly baked cookies, it is also a stressful time. I get it. There are presents to buy with money you don’t have. You are decorating your house and tree which in itself is stressful (I’m thinking of Clark Griswald). And what about having family over that might not get along?
In the midst of all of this you still have bills to pay and food to put on the table. Add mental illness in the mix and you’ve got a smorgasbord of different calls coming in about any little thing. It may not be important to most people but it’s important to the caller. December can cause triggers and depression in too many people.
This post isn’t all doom and gloom though readers. I won’t publish my first December post trying to depress you all. I am only wanting to remind you that during your holiday shopping be a bit more mindful of your fellow humans.
A few years back I had gotten triggered. I had just dropped Conner off at school and was planning on doing some Christmas shopping when the driver in front of me stopped at a stop sign, got out of his car, and proceeded to berate me for driving too close to him. I wasn’t but that’s not the point. I get really uneasy when a strange man I don’t know approaches me. When he approaches me in anger, I am immediately in defense mode.
I often questioned myself about that incident and how I could have handled it differently. Upon reflection of it, I recognized that the man’s anger wasn’t about me. It was about him and his own issues. Maybe, had I not yelled back at him and responded with kindness the altercation would have been different.
I do believe he was having a bad day. Whether we recognize this or not, when we are in a bad mood, we are ready to start arguments with people – regardless of whether they are family, friends, or total strangers. Most of the time we don’t know it until after the fact. We don’t realize it in the moment because in the moment we are only focused on one thing – arguing and arguing is for what purpose? Being heard.
The state of the world today has way too many people up in arms over literally everything. Everyone talks over everyone else. Everyone is so damn angry. At least it seems that way. It doesn’t help that we have leaders and the media constantly showing us just how low our society has fallen. It’s depressing.
So here is where I’m going to challenge all of you. I challenge you to be kind. I challenge you to walk away from an angry person. Don’t let them affect your day and your mood. Now I know that it is much easier said than done but do it anyway.
Let’s all be mindful this December and be kinder to each other. I hope this month brings you great things. I hope that when you look back at 2018, you are able to look back with a smile and no regrets. Let’s give a big smile, raise our glasses, bake those cookies, and hug our children a little extra this month. And remember that if you do find yourself in a bad mood or having a bad day, don’t take it out on another.
Here’s to a great month! Happy December all!
Thanks so much for reading!
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