Are you feeling a bit down in the dumps lately? Have those September blues hit you hard? If so, there could be a very sparkly, tinsel-laden solution.
I have to admit, as someone who is more than happy to throw together a plastic Christmas tree and handed-down baubles at midnight on December 23rd, it pains me sightly to write this but according to a number of psychologists, putting up your festive Christmas decorations in September can significantly boost your happiness and overall wellbeing.
Psychologist and owner of The McKeown Clinic, Steve McKeown, told Unilad that the secret to happiness is indeed the twinkling fairy lights and rustling tinsel associated with Christmas time, though it is linked strongly with the need for ‘childhood nostalgia’ and ‘happier times.’
He explained: “Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.
“In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood.
“Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extend the excitement!”
Amy Morin, psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, seconded McKeown’s view, explaining that nostalgia helps to link people to their personal past and reconnect with their childhoods.
She said: “It may be a bittersweet feeling. Perhaps the holidays serve as a reminder of when a loved one was still alive. Or maybe looking at a Christmas tree reminds someone of what life was like when they still believed in Santa.
“For people who have lost a loved one, the holidays may serve as a reminder of happy times they had with that person in the past. Decorating early may help them feel more connected with that individual.”
And that isn’t the only bit of good news for all you premature Christmas lovers out there – later this month, a free TV channel dedicated entirely to Christmas films will be launching later this month. Yep, that’s non-stop festive films and baubles in September.
Community village for homeless people in Manchester secures £3.5m in funding
The pioneering village will include a village hall, lots of green space, allotments and a multi-use sports area
A purpose-built community village for homeless people in Manchester has just received a massive £3.5m donation.
The Manchester-based charity Embassy first dreamt up the idea of the Embassy Village in 2021, envisioning a pioneering new safe and secure community for the city’s homeless and vulnerable men.
Embassy Village will provide forty purpose-built homes in a housing-led community, which will be built within a derelict site below the railway arches between the Bridgewater Canal and River Irwell in the city centre.
Plans also include a village hall, lots of green space, mini allotments to grow vegetables and a multi-use sports area.
Embassy Village will operate as a housing provider rather than a shelter, and all potential residents will be interviewed and triaged. Only those who are ready and, crucially, keen to work will be offered accommodation.
While Embassy has been working with regeneration business and landowner Peel L&P, Capital&Centric to develop the village, it has now been gifted a huge £3.5m donation by The Moulding Foundation, an organisation that aims to tackle social inequalities that exist in the North of England.
The astonishing donation will ultimately pay for the construction of the Embassy Village
Jodie Moulding, founder and trustee chair of the Moulding Foundation, said: “We are hugely proud to be supporting Embassy Village with this incredible project, helping to reduce homelessness in Greater Manchester.
“The village will be transformational – in addition to safe housing, it will give residents the life skills, community support and access to the resources needed to lead thriving and healthy lives.”
Sid Williams from Embassy added: “To receive this extremely generous donation from The Moulding Foundation is just incredible and puts us in a position to get the village built sooner than we had expected.
“The latest government figures show that Manchester has the second highest number of people sleeping rough in England. This project is critical in helping us transform the way homelessness is tackled in our city, providing a long term and sustainable solution.”
The donation from the Moulding Foundation will fund the construction of the project, which will start later this year and is expected to complete in 2023.
Martin Lewis calls on ‘zombie government’ to intervene with soaring energy costs
Lewis described the situation as ‘desperate’
Martin Lewis has urged the government to ‘wake up’ as energy bills soar to unprecedented costs.
This morning, damning new figures presented by energy consultancy firm Cornwall Insight forecasted that, from January 2023, the average household will be paying over £4,000 for its annual energy bill.
The previous prediction was £3,729 – that’s a price increase of £650.
Following the grave announcement, the Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis briefly broke his social media sabbatical to issue a stern warning to the ‘zombie government’ about the impact these new prices will have on the British public.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Lewis slammed the news as ‘tragic’, writing: “The latest @CornwallInsight prediction, based on Ofgem’s new methodology, is an 81% price cap rise in Oct (taking typical bill to £3,582/yr) and a further 19% in Jan (so £4,266/yr).
“Action and planning is needed now. The zombie govt [sic] needs wake up sooner than 5 Sept.”
Criticising the government’s response to the crisis so far, Lewis went on to point out that these new figures equate to 45% of the full new state pension and swallow up the £400 ‘help for all homes’ scheme.
He continued: “This will leave many destitute. Tax cuts won’t help poorest [including] many elderly and disabled who’ve higher usage.”
Lewis then stressed that the ongoing leadership debate ‘must not ignore this portentous national cataclysm any more’, writing: “An action plan is needed TODAY.
“They are all in the same party, let’s call on them to come together for the good of the nation rather than personal point scoring. People’s livelihoods, mental wellbeing and in some cases, very lives depend on this.
“This is a desperate.”
Over 94,000 people have pledged to take part in Don’t Pay, a campaign protesting the rising energy bills. Those signed up to the campaign have vowed to cancel their direct debits to energy companies from October 1st if the situation hasn’t changed by then.
It is hoped that if enough people take part in the pledge, energy companies will be faced with no other choice but to reduce monthly costs.
Gogglebox’s Malone family ate at ‘rudest restaurant in Manchester’ and fans are loving the footage
There was no VIP treatment for this famous family…
Gogglebox’s Malone family endured a meal out at the ‘rudest restaurant in Manchester’ this week and, much to the delight of their fans, they documented the full and sweary experience.
While the Mancunian family are firm favourites on the Channel 4 reality show, they didn’t get any special treatment over at Karen’s Diner, whose staff pride themselves on being as rude as possible to those who dare dine in.
The restaurant, which opened in Prestwich last month, ensures each and every guest gets the ‘full Karen treatment’, celebrities and TV stars included.
So when the Malone family arrived for dinner yesterday, staff went above and beyond to make sure they were treated no differently to the other unfortunate guests.
In a video posted onto the official Malone family Instagram page, Tom Sr, Julie and their son Tom Jr could be seen being sat down by a waitress who reassured them they wouldn’t be getting any special treatment.
She was heard informing them: “Alright the Malone family. I know you’re on telly and everything, yeah, but I’m not treating you any different, you’re all s***s”.
Tom Sr seemed amused by the casual insult and, chuckling, responded: “Thank you very much… best compliment I’ve had all day.”
Later in the video, waiting staff sang an x-rated version of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Julie, who had been forced to wear a paper hat emblazoned with the unsavoury title ‘Cheapest p***** on the council estate’.
Tom Sr and Tom Jr were also made to done the crude paper hats, one with the unfortunate title ‘TV w****r’ and the other with “Gaping a******e”.
Later in the video, Julie was seen being encouraged to down one of Karen’s Diner’s infamous shots, served in a miniature toilet cup, by a number of waiting staff and fellow diners, all of whom seemed delighted to have the Channel 4 stars in their company.
The video has gone down a treat with fans of the family and, rather than be put off visiting, many seem keen to pay the explosive diner a visit themselves.
One person tagged their friend and asked: “Can we go just for the laughs?” while another commented: “We need to go to Karen’s!!!!”.
And much to the delight of Gogglebox fans, the offical Karen’s Diner Instagram account later commented on the video: “Don’t come back unless you’re bringing Dave with you”.