Christmas + mental health

Not another mental health post, some of you may be thinking. Where are the pretty travel pictures and travel stories, others of you may ask.

They’re here. I’ve got them. I cannot wait to share them, but with only nine days to go until Christmas I have something else on my mind.

Mental health. Not mental illness, not mental disorder, and certainly not mental problems. Mental health.

Christmas to my family is incredibly important, we love Christmas. We love being together and cooking and sharing thoughtful gifts, blasting Christmas music and wearing silly hats and telling terrible jokes from our Christmas crackers. My favourite memory of many of my christmases will always be that moment when I simply could not continue, I was full and exhausted, I’d had a day of fun and it was finally time for bed. I will always hear my mum and dad saying Merry Christmas darlin’ as I headed to bed each year. That is my favourite Christmas memory.

The holiday season is not always a happy time for some, for some people it brings with it memories of loss, a time of grieving, feelings of sadness and confusion. For some it means nothing but anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts.

Christmas is hectic. The holidays can be a real trigger for many people out there and we have a responsibility to check in on others.

For one of my friends, she lost her Mother on Christmas Eve. Another lost her best friend to depression on Christmas Day. Some people no longer have anyone to put their tree up with them. There are families who cannot afford to eat. Families without homes. Families doing their best to keep everything together, even though it seems impossible.

My favourite Big Issue vendor in Brisbane, Nathan is someone who stands outside of the 7/11 on Adelaide Street and wishes a Merry Christmas to ever single person who walks past him. I always make the time to stop and ask him how he is and have a chat. December brings with it a lot of hurt and sadness to his life. Not only is he homeless, but he lost his Mother, Step-Dad and his brother in various December’s. Still he wishes you a Merry Christmas. When I see people ignore him or even scowl at him I feel nothing but disgrace for the human race.

Last year, the week before Christmas, Nathan was telling everyone it would be his last week in Brisbane, he was moving to Hervey Bay to be with his son. His happiness was contagious, he hadn’t been that genuinely happy in months. I was silently rooting for him.

When I saw him on that same corner in January, my heart broke for him.

Missing out on the Portman’s dress you wanted for Christmas is not a tragedy. Working Christmas Eve instead of partying with your friends is not sad. Spending Christmas with your family-in-law or annoying Uncle / Cousin / Sibling is not depressing. They are all circumstantial situations.

I want you to enjoy your Christmas, be kind to everyone. Forget misgivings, remove toxic people from your life. Remember the reason for the season and practice kindness. Smile at your Big Issue vendor, if you have $7, buy a magazine. Chat with them. Ask how are you and be ready to listen and to mean it. Be socially aware.

Christmas is not shopping. Christmas is not presents. Christmas is not enduring Christmas with family, it’s an honour.

Christmas is love.

Practice love, always.

Advertisements

Aria Brisbane – Our favourite Restaurant

“it’s the whole experience and what it makes you feel. food is one aspect and primarily what people are there to enjoy but it’s equally as much about the service, wine list, interiors, location, atmosphere and an ingrained sense of hospitality.”

/  MATT MORAN /

This week Grant and I celebrated a pretty special Anniversary. Not our wedding anniversary, but our first anniversary. Five years! Five years ago we had our first dinner-date at Aria and we have never forgotten how amazing it was.

Aria is located at Eagle St Pier, has a stunning view of our stunning Brisbane river, the city and the Story Bridge and is manned by an absolutely lovely team. The General Manager, Daniel was able to find our reservation from five years ago and also let us now he had been working that night, out the back. So that was super nostalgic for the both of us!

So we headed back there and we ate all of the following delicious meals…

img_2798
Sydney rock oysters, shallot, aged red wine vinegar & mussels
img_2796
Amazing sliced fig with other tasty treats
img_2799
Tuna, honey bug, wasabi, black radish
img_2800
Gold beetroot, sesame cheese, pear, witlof
img_2804
Smoked pork, turnip, mustard
img_2801
Spanner crab, black rice, avocado, wasabi leaf
img_2802
Wagyu bresaola, parmesan, fried bread

img_2805

img_2807
Strawberry, gingerbread, yoghurt

img_2808

Not Pictured: Veal, celeriac, native thyme with beef cheek

Our first date was pretty special and it’s been one of my favourite memories these past five years. So being so warmly welcomed with genuine hospitality and excitement around our anniversary was really lovely.

The team at Aria are second to none and their food is just amazing. Plus those views, hard to beat!

Tell me, where is your favourite place to dine in Brisbane?

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! It is my greatest pleasure to share with you my own personal experiences, adventures and places I have researched for upcoming trips! 

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow #OURSEQld on Instagram click here – Our SE Qld

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x