Dear readers,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for sending me your problems and dilemmas over the past year.
I take time to read each and every one of them and feel privileged that you have trusted me with your most intimate concerns.

Over the past few weeks I have received numerous emails relating to Christmas, highlighting that this time of year for various reasons can be a very stressful time.

Many of us are extremely busy, and once all the shopping for gifts and food has been completed, the cards written, the house decorated, and presents wrapped, we can all be left feeling completely exhausted. Sometimes our happy ever after image of the perfect family scene does not work out as we had originally planned. Maybe its the heightened expectation or indeed, the stress of it all.

This time of year extended family get-togethers can sometimes prove rather challenging. If you sense tension rising - suggest a good walk which can often diffuse the most awkward situation.

Whilst Christmas inevitably is about compromise, finding time to visit numerous friends and relatives, having to entertain at home - it is also a time when many are having to face loneliness. If you know of anyone who will be spending Christmas alone, ask yourself is there anything you could do to improve their situation. Would it be possible for you to invite them to join you for lunch, or if they would prefer to be in their own home, could you offer to take a meal to them, and perhaps include a small gift - you would be bringing the spirit of Christmas to someone who would have otherwise felt isolated at this significant time.

Relaxation is most important for our wellbeing, more so at this time of year. Allow yourself some peaceful time, get to enjoy a nice walk, read a good book or your favourite magazine - indeed anything that would offer you some precious time away from the hustle and bustle the festive season brings.

And finally, I hope Christmas magic finds each and every one of you, and shall look forward to being here for you next year throughout 2015 whenever you may need me.

Very best wishes,
Patricia Marie.

THE SILVER LINE helpline (0800 4708090), set up last year by Esther Rantzen, offers help, comfort and support for all those facing loneliness, not only during the festive season, but 24 hours a day.

Have a dilemma? Please email  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows