Thank you to everyone who I have had a chance to connect with this year. I always value working together with others and learn so much through the process, whether it is delivering training courses and presentations, facilitating one to one or group supervision, or mentoring, coaching or counselling.

Many of the connections this year have been very different to what any of us could have anticipated this time last year, but I have valued all of the video production, digital meetings and distance learning connections, and socially distanced meetings in PPE, and had the chance to add to my skill set somewhat too.

This time of year, for those of us that celebrate Christmas, is often a time for getting together with others. To meet with family, friends, classmates and work colleagues and enjoy time visiting and at gatherings, parties and days and nights out.

For many people, not being able to see others and spend time with people that they love, share food and drinks and gifts, or to go out and have some fun and to relax - particularly after such a busy and challenging year - is going to have a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing - particularly for people who live alone and are already all too familiar with isolation and loneliness.

And also for some of us, Christmas is not a wonderful time. It is not a time associated with fun, spending time with others and celebration. Instead, for a variety of reasons, this time of year can be a time of anxiety, depression and sadness.

So whatever our situation, it is more important than ever that we stay connected - in any way that we can - to our friends, family and others in our communities. Whether it is meeting up, a phone call, door step visit, a note or even a wave through a window - all of this helps us to stay connected, share some kindness and to spread the message that no matter how we might be feeling - we are not alone. 

So if you are able to, and you celebrate Christmas, then I hope you have as nice a time as you possibly can - you deserve it. You always do, and not least after this year.

2021 is not far away, and it promises some brighter days. I look forward to many more connections with you.

Best wishes for now,

Sean Humphreys