Month: November 2016

December 2016- Merry Christmas?

If you look at the TV adverts at this time of year you would not be wrong in assuming that Christmas is a time of year full of celebration and where everyone feels nothing but joyous festive feelings. But in reality this is not the case. Many people do love and enjoy the festive season but many dread it each year and for a number of different reasons.

Feeling alone:

In September I blogged about how important it is to enjoy some alone time. And it really is. But when the TV and people you encounter keep pushing the message of being with friends, family and loved ones and you know you have no one to share Christmas time with it can feel terribly lonely and depressing.

This year:

Look out for people that may be spending time alone and invite them to spend time with you. Or if you are alone 1) let people know so they have the opportunity to offer or 2) have a look in your area for what community events may be happening. There are often meals in churches and in community spaces on Christmas day.


Many look forward to all the time they get to spend at home with family but many do not. This can be the ideal brewing ground for bringing up past grievances and having petty but malicious squabbles.

This year:

Offer your friend a place to escape to should they need to at some point in the day. Let someone know that you may need a place to get away to and ask if that place can be there’s. Try not to bring up issues that may lead to arguments. If you do have any grievances with family it may be a good idea to try to talk things through now, before the turkey is on the table.


Some people feel the pressure to buy gifts for many people and expensive gifts at that. Maybe you have kids who want the latest gadgets or other people that give you a list of wants as long as your arm.

This year:

Let them know that this year you’ll be doing things differently. Make presents and cards for people to give your gifts that personal touch. Suggest that everyone just buys a present for one person so everyone gets something. Or team up with someone else to go halves on a present.

Life only comes around once, so do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile- Anon

November 2016- Can dropping the word ‘should’ make you happier?

If you are someone who speaks to yourself using the words Should, Must or Ought to then you probably find that you spend a lot of your time doing things because it feels as though not to do them would be wrong, and not always because you want to do them. Sound at all familiar? Here is something you can do this month to change that.

Think of live as being made up of things you have NO CHOICE but to do and things you do have a CHOICE about. When doing so use a very strict criteria to identify where the things in your life would sit. NO CHOICE things are things that are a matter of life and death or will result in you breaking the law and being sent to jail. These are the only things you an use the words ‘Should, Must or Ought to’ for.

CHOICE things are, well, everything else! The words to use for these things are ‘Prefer, Like or Want’. So for example, you receive an email at the start of the day and are too busy to respond straight away. Just before leaving work that night you remember and think ‘I must reply to that email!’ You are tired and hungry and want to go home. First think ‘Will anyone die or will I be arrested if I don’t reply today?’ That will help you to identify if it is a no choice or choice matter. It is most likely in this situation that you realise you have choice about replying to the email. If it is not in regards to something that needs to be attended to urgently then you have a choice about when you will reply. Reply right then because you ‘prefer, would like or want to’ or go home and leave it until the next day to respond.

Saying that you ‘prefer, would like or want to’ do something will make the task seem like less of a chore. Do this and you will find that there are very few things in life you ‘should must or ought to’ do. There are of course many things in life that it is important to get done but hopefully you will be able to engage in them with more motivation and vigour.