connecting this christmas Connecting this Christmas. Our theme of the month for December is connection. Last year, the ‘Connection at Christmas’ post told the story of my mum and the Liverpool shoebox appeal. Last year my mum, Sandra, and the school where she worked helped to collect 95 shoeboxes filled with goodies to send to children in Romania. This year, her aim was to double that total.

I was so inspired by my mum and her kindness that I wanted to help, knowing that the Mindful Therapies community is a kind and generous bunch! We started collecting in October and filled 24 shoeboxes with toys, sweets, stationary and toiletries. I have been so moved by the generosity of everyone who donated. We had loads of fun wrapping the boxes and deciding which gifts would go in which one. And on 17th November we delivered them down to my mum, who met me in Cumbria to take the boxes down to Liverpool and send them on to their destination in Romania. I felt like Santa’s little helper!

Connecting this Christmas

Acts of kindness are important all year round. But perhaps it is particularly important at Christmas, which can be a difficult time for many of us. We are told that it is the most wonderful time of the year. We are told that it is the season of goodwill and a time for love and connection – but that is not how it is for all of us.

Christmas can be a time of grief – of missing loved ones who should be there to celebrate with us. Christmas can be a time of stress and pressure and arguments – when we are cooped up with relatives that we very rarely see and we might not see eye to eye with. And for many people, Christmas can be a lonely time too.

So what can we do to experience connection at Christmas? Here are some ideas to get you going. Why not share your tips for connecting with other people in the comments below?

  • Practise kindness to a stranger: Make a charitable donation or give some time to help someone. For example, you might give some food to a food bank or donate a Christmas dinner to a homeless person. This can be done in Newcastle via the People’s Kitchen.
  • Reach out to someone: Send a card or a text to someone that you might not usually see very often.
  • Come along to Mindful Therapies. We know that Christmas can be difficult so we are offering a range of festive events to find community and connection in Newcastle city Centre throughout the holiday period.
  • Finally connect with yourself. Give yourself permission not to be joyful. There is so much pressure to be happy. Just let yourself feel what you feel.
  • And don’t overdo it on the sprouts – or nobody will want to connect with you again!