Top Tips For A Feelgood Christmas
The supermarkets have been reminding us that Christmas is coming. The shelves have been laden with Christmas puddings and other goodies for weeks! You may be looking forward to celebrating Christmas or you may be anticipating enjoying the festive season in another way. Whatever your plans are, my guess is that they will be a tad different from previous years.
Despite the world we are living in, there are many ways that you can make the festivities special. I’m personally a great believer in the power of micro moments and tiny interventions. These are the small things we notice, the little shifts we can make, the seemingly tiny insights that will change our life for the better. Christmas may not be the same this year – but it can be a wonderful time.
What can you do in a minute to make a difference? Here are 10 suggestions to help you have a Merry Christmas holiday. Some are pulled from my ‘Meee in a Minute’ books, each offering 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our perception in life, family and at work.
1. Homemade Secret Santa: Instead of buying something, why not make something. It could be edible or creative. Take a minute to think of what you could make that would make someone you love smile. Or, if that’s a bit challenging why not buy something basic and personalise it for your friend or family member? Probably best not to try this with kids though!
2. Discover Your Local Area: Instead of sitting down in front of the TV after you’ve eaten too much, assuming we are not in lockdown, get outside. Go for a walk and discover something new about where you live. If conditions permit, take a few minutes to have a snowball fight!
3. Give Knowledge: Instead of buying a gift why not introduce a loved one or colleague to interesting knowledge or a fun new interest. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are everywhere. Take a minute to visit www.futurelearn.com or google ‘online courses’, browse the categories and sign up a friend or family member to a new experience. Many of these courses are free. Who knows where they could lead – a new adventure? Certainly, more interesting than a new pair of socks.
4. Buy local: So many businesses are struggling this year and the future is very uncertain. It’s not uncertain for Amazon – their profits have soared. Wherever you can, choose to shop local. Take a minute to consider what you could buy in local stores and little gift shops. Money that is spent locally stays locally and helps to keep those businesses afloat during a tough year.
5. Focus on Expand-tations not Limitations: For so much of 2020 we’ve been limited to what we can do and who we can see. But, hopefully 2020 has also taught us that the things we thought were super important are not that important and the things we took for granted – friends and family – are where it’s at. Take a minute to consider what you’ve gained in 2020. Expand into the good stuff.
6. Begin it: As 2021 marches closer - is there something you want to do but are scared it won’t work out? Perhaps you want to get fit or change career. If ever there was a time to explore that – it’s now. Take a minute to consider what you are putting off. Take one positive step toward that today and keep going.
7. Slow down and smell the coffee: Joshua Bell, one of the greatest violinists in the world run an experiment where he busked at a subway station in Washington DC. He played one of the most intricate pieces of music ever written on a violin worth $3.5 million. During his 40-minute performance 1,097 people passed him – all rushing to get somewhere else. Only 27 people stopped to listen and he raised $32.17. Take a minute to consider what you are missing because you are so busy rushing somewhere or focused on something else. Slow down, most of us don’t have a choice right now anyway so embrace it and enjoy it.
8. Anti-Bucket List: As we near the end of the year it might be easy to focus on New Year’s Resolutions for next year. And let’s face it, beating 2020 isn’t going to be difficult. But instead of getting weighed down with what you might do, or should do, purge yourself of all the things you definitely won’t do, or don’t want to do. Liberate yourself from the ‘should of’s and focus on what you want.
9. It’s Not About the Money: Above all else don’t overspend. Everyone you want to buy a present for already loves you. They will love you regardless of what you buy for them. And not one of those people would want you to feel some weird obligation to buy beyond your means and put unnecessary financial pressure on yourself and your family. Take a minute to breathe and remember it’s about love not money.
10. Do more of what makes you happy: It’s been a tough year. But happiness is found in so much more than grand experiences or amazing achievements. Happiness is actually easier to find in the little moments – spending time with family, meeting friends (socially distanced of course), reading, listening to music, enjoying nice food or a good coffee. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, surely, it’s to relish in the simple things. Take a minute to write down a list of 10 things that make you happy. Do more of those things.
Martin Luther King Jr.