Well, that’s that done for another year. We expect you had a lovely time overindulging with your family and friends, but what if you didn’t? Because, whatever we’re told and sold, the festive period is actually the least wonderful time of the year for a lot of us. Ever tried participating in communal gluttony with an eating disorder? Or attending Christmas drinks under the pressure of sobriety? If you’re bereaved, it’ll be painful because of who isn’t there - and if you’re abused, because of who is. Sometimes, there’s just nothing like collective joy to affirm seemingly individual misery: the ‘everyone’s having fun except me’ effect, if you will.
It’s enough to send anyone straight to therapy, but (once you surmount the waiting lists) private therapy is costly and therapy courtesy of the NHS tends to be brief - so what are you supposed to do in the meantime? Given the rise of accounts run by professional therapists, Instagram - traditionally a pantomime villain in the theatre of mental health - might actually provide an invaluable and immediate resource of therapeutic support to anyone who needs it.
If sending memes to friends offers humorous validation of their problems, content from therapy accounts offers serious validation. And while a meme will never go amiss, the latter are more like care packages to anyone who’s suffering. Of course, Instagram will never be a substitute for therapy IRL, but it comes surprisingly close - and we could all do with a modicum of increased self-awareness in 2020.
In case the algorithm has yet to bless you: