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5 Tips to Stay Happy This Christmas – Whether you’re a Christmas lover or not!

For some Christmas is a time filled with love and joy with loved ones.  For others it can be a reminder of those we have lost, the things we messed up and the things we don’t have.

No matter which camp you belong to it pays to have a few strategies in place to ensure you get through the silly season unscathed.

Tip 1:  Don’t accept every invitation you get (unless you want to)

It has been a particularly challenging year for everyone.  If you’re not up for a large number of social gatherings or if you’re not quite ready to get out an about at full swing that is perfectly fine.  It’s better to go with a full heart to a small number of gatherings than dread going to many.

Tip 2:  Accept Imperfection

I love sappy, happy ending Christmas movies as much as (if not far more than) anyone, but real life isn’t Hollywood.  Do what you can, with what you have.  At the end of the day, it’s not about having perfect decorations or perfect food – that’s not what makes the memories. 

Don’t set the bar impossibly high, if fact, don’t set a bar at all.  Be present in the moment and enjoy the people you have around you. Remember what (and who) is important.

Tip 3:  Maintain Your Healthy Habits

It’s a few weeks of festivities not a zombie apocalypse - no need to throw it all to the wind just because there is a little extra indulgence happening.  At every opportunity, keep up with your healthy habits.  Eat well when you can, exercise when you can (even if it is modified and perhaps a little more fun than your usual grind) and bring a little calm to the chaos when you can.

That will save the self-criticism and over inflated new-years resolutions come January. 

Tip 4:  Find Small Ways to Recharge

The Christmas season is usually jam-packed with gatherings, to-do lists and work that needs to be done before closing for Christmas. 

To help get you through the lead-up make time for the little things you like to do.  Watch a movie, listen to music, keep up your usual exercise routine – whatever works for you. Two labradore puppies wearing christmas hats And at celebrations, find small ways to re-charge your batteries. It could be as simple as going for a short walk or getting some fresh air.  You might find it helpful to find a quiet space to relax and take a few deep breaths.  Find a cat or a dog to pat or play with for a few minutes – whatever helps you find your calm and recharges you.  

Tip 5:  Be Kind

Not everyone you come across during the festivities will say or do things that you agree with.  Some could be out right nasty.  Wherever possible, try to remember that everyone has their story and things they are going through in their own lives.  Not saying be a door mat, but just remember there’s a whole lot going on for everyone so try to be kind. 

You can’t change what other people do but you can decide how you respond to it or how you let it affect you.

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