The festive season is meant to be about peace and goodwill to all. But all that shopping and socialising can lead to major stress levels and pressure to have a perfect Christmas. Too often we don’t end up enjoying it as much as we should, or else we can overlook others because of our own problems. Here are a few simple ways to have a kinder (and calmer) Christmas.
Wish a stranger a happy Christmas
It sounds so obvious but we often don’t do it! Next time you are passing someone in the street, or waiting at the bus stop, or even in line at the till, wish someone a happy Christmas. You never know, it could make their day and it will leave you with a warm glow too.
Give someone your time
The best presents can come for free. Is there someone in your life who you could spend some time with? Do you have an elderly relative or a neighbour who you could have a cup of tea with, or even call them up for a chat on the phone? Again, it could really cheer someone up if they are missing good conversation and company. It’s good to take time out at this time of year to connect with others.
Make a spontaneous gesture
Open a door, help with someone’s shopping bags, offer to make a cup of tea, tell someone you like their Christmas jumper! Surprising people with kind words and acts will ramp up the feel-goods this season.
Go and see a Christmas movie with friends
Netflix means we can watch films from the comfort of our own home, but it also means we’re missing out on seeing friends in the flesh. Organise a trip to the flicks and go for a hot chocolate or dinner together afterwards to make it a real social occasion.
Make or write something
At this time of year we can end up with a load of presents (and packaging) that has been mass-produced. Why not add a personal touch and make your gifts and cards, instead of buying them? It doesn’t have to be anything hugely creative: even baking a cake or sending a handwritten letter is a lovely gesture that will be much appreciated.
Be kind to yourself
As much as it’s about helping others, make sure you help yourself this season. It’s the chance to have a break and switch off from life, so make sure you don’t always say ‘yes’ to others at the expense of your own enjoyment. Take time out to enjoy yourself and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get everything ‘right.’ The clue’s in the saying – have a happy Christmas. 😉