I do hope you’re all enjoying the fun of this month, with parties, drink and social get togethers.
Christmas only comes once every 12 months and for many of us it means the longest time spent away from work and with our families of the year. That’s of course, one of the beautiful things about Christmas, but it can also be a pretty stressful time for many. Here are my top tips for ducking stress and making the most of the holidays.
- Stop and take notice. See the people around you, hear the children’s laughter, enjoy a snow fight (if you’re lucky enough to have snow), the stillness of reading a book or watching a film. Savour little moments that are otherwise so easily missed.
- Accept the imperfect. So what if the turkey or ham is a bit dry or the pudding isn’t home made? The only person causing you stress if you allow these details get in the way of the fun is you –a more relaxed stance will allow for the imperfect to be enjoyable and appreciated by all.
- Put away the iPad, SMART phone and laptop, and instead, invest in your relationships. The quality of our relationships is the biggest happiness predictor so deliberately savour the opportunity to spend time with people you love and care about.
- Make amends. If there’s someone you’ve lost but still love, take a positive step and make contact. Making that first decision is in itself a big stress buster as indecision causes a lot of stress.
- Write a list of 50 things that make you happy. And then do them! You might struggle to reach 50, but keep it as a live working document and add as you notice things. Big and small. Why not do it together as a family and group of friends? Have a joint ‘happiness list’ that you all work on implementing together.
- Be grateful. Every day, take note of things you are thankful for having in your life. Look back over 2013 for all the big and little things to be thankful for. Opportunities, experiences, people, acts by others …. Gratitude is linked with life satisfaction and optimism, as well as reduced levels of stress and depression, so get creative in your gratitude practice and look for different things.
- Make a plan. What do you want to change or improve in 2014? Don’t leave this to the New Year resolutions after a glass of champagne on the 31st December, but start thinking about this properly now. What will you do to encourage these changes that would make your life so much better? Go on, write them down and commit to yourself. And tell someone else – add that all important accountability!
I hope you’ll enjoy this last month of the year and that you’ll feel ready to take 2014 by storm!
And if you’d like to a helping hand make sure it’s a great year, pop along to my website www.bemelifecoaching.com, for a heads up of my New Year offer!