Christmas – It’s a mixed bag this year

At the risk of bringing a bit of a damper to the celebrations, I think it’s important to acknowledge that for many people Christmas is a bit of a mixed bag this year.  On the one hand there is the chance to celebrate, and to kick back with friends and family; on the other there is the ongoing nature of daily lives affected by damaged homes, uncertainty and loss. It really is a time to take care of ourselves and each other.  Perhaps you are feeling overly anxious, a bit grouchy, stressed, overwhelmed, sad, or all of the above!  Considering the year we have had all of these feelings are completely understandable.

The self-help section of the library has some fantastic material that could help.  Sometimes ‘self help’ evokes bad press,  but in this collection there is plenty of good solid sensible advice for those of us in need of a bit of care and understanding.

Don’t forget to use our CINCH database if you feel that you need to find someone, or an agency with whom you could talk to. Our Earthquake recovery page on the library website might be worth looking at again, as it has many agencies that are still working actively in Christchurch.

You might also want to check out some of these titles:

All blacks don’t cry by John Kirwan.  Personally I think this man should be nominated for a knighthood!  A very personal story that normalises depression and offers hope.

Dealing with depression by Caroline Shreeve.  Some books on this subject proclaim one approach as providing the magic cure – this one gives a good overview of a number of strategies  including medication and alternative therapies.

Cover of "5 survivors"The mindful way through anxiety by Susan Orsillo and Lizabeth Roemer.  The authors describe how to gain awareness of anxious feelings without letting them escalate.  Lots of stories, self-quizzes and step-by-step exercises.

5 survivors: personal stories of healing from PTSD and traumatic events by Tracy Stecker. Theauthor outlines the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the progress of each survivor.  Those living with untreated PTSD may see themselves in these stories and realize they are not alone. It is also useful for friends and family of those who have been  impacted by the trauma, and aims to give more intimate understanding of a loved one’s struggle and pain.