The Silver Bauble #8 - 13/7/19

Let’s Talk About Mindfulness And Mental Health

That’s a pretty odd title to a Christmas blog, isn’t it? I’ll tell you why I’m bringing this up.

Every year, we look at the Christmas UK user statistics. We make Christmas UK unashamedly niche - we’re geeky about how the UK prepares and celebrates Christmas, but we’re not the sort of site that celebrates Christmas every day. The other, much more popular, Christmas social media feeds and sites do so by flooding you with traditional Christmas images throughout the year, together with forced festive bonhomie.

We’re a little more sincere - yes, we’re curious about Christmas from around June onwards as the first acts of the new Run-Up play out, but one of the last things we want to hear in the Summer heat is the full playlist from The Best Christmas Album In The World… Ever!.

Well… aside from The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping, which is an ageless anthem that we could listen on repeat until Christmas 2030.

The Christmas 2019 Run-Up will be our ninth full Christmas Run-Up, and we can’t avoid the fact that Christmas UK isn’t the mainstream success that we’d hoped it would be. Sure, its popularity grows year-on-year, but we’ll never be some form of social media phenomenon.

Every year we consider winding up Christmas UK. Every year, we choose not to.

Why?

You.

We keep hearing how much you enjoy our geeky little feed. Not only that, but some of you tell us how Christmas UK is helping to carry you through various challenges and dramas in your life, be it health problems, relationship problems, work problems, and other problems. It’s a liferaft that allows you to temporarily escape the Real World and to focus on some of the good things in life. And even if you’re not suffering from any personal problems, you only need to look at the news to see, whatever your views on various subjects, that the world has far too many serious problems to work through, and it’s good to have a positive distraction.

Handling the nation’s mental health is a hot topic right now. You’ll have seen various websites, podcasts, adverts and TV and radio shows about mindfulness and coping with everything that life throws at you. It’s such a serious issue that, annoyingly, the big brands are now marketing their products as aids to managing these issues. Sure, it’s true that a chat with a friend over tea and biscuits can help alleviate stress and depression, but you know that the bakers wouldn’t be pushing this if they couldn’t make money from it.

The feedback from our followers is what drives us. Knowing we make a difference in your lives, no matter how small, is very satisfying. Christmas UK may be a niche, geeky website with social media feeds that relatively few people know about, but it’s our niche - all of us are welcome here to sup on this pool of positivity.

We’re going to be here for as long as we are wanted here, and we are enjoying ourselves as we go.

If you’re going through a tough time and could use some support, you could do worse than looking at the MIND website, and especially their Elefriends online support community that provides various tools that may be able to help you through these times.

If you feel like you or someone you know is in danger of harming themselves, go to A&E immediately for help. At the very least, use this online tool from MIND for advice on what your next step should be.

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