I did wonder if I should title this post - tips for surviving Christmas during a pandemic - but no, I figured I should be positive. For the great majority of us, we CAN enjoy Christmas and not just have to survive, endure or get through it this year.
We're still a week away from Christmas day and there is plenty of time for each of us to check ourselves and start changing our mindset from negative to positive. We know now that the rate of spread in the UK is still high and for many areas (especially London, the South East and Wales) the spread is rising exponentially. So, it is time for every one of us to act responsibly and to have the smallest, safest gathering possible this Christmas.
It won't be normal - there won't be boozy nights with friends, trips to the panto, ice skating with the kids or frantic sale shopping and now we know that for sure, it is time for us to accept it and make the best of what we have left. I'd like to suggest that we can still have a good time or even a great time and I wanted to share some tips for doing so.
Take a Positive View
My first suggestion and it applies to everyone is to look on the bright side. I know from personal experience and from being involved with the Reasons to be Cheerful gang for over a decade that looking for the good in a situation makes a difference. When you choose to be grateful and offer thanks for the things that you do have, it changes your mindset and it can easily become a habit. Of course, you have to be willing to put in the effort and I think it is good to write down each day the things you are thankful for. Aim for three a day and when you are struggling just seek one positive thing, even if it is as simple as - you have a home, warm clothes, food to eat. Start with the basics and keep recording what you are grateful for and your list and your heart will grow, I promise you.
A few years ago I wrote a post titled 'Keeping perspective: It's Just One Day After All!' where I talked about not following the crowd and remembering that Christmas is just a short snippet in time, and I think it is more important than ever this year to remember that. Don't spend money you don't have, mourn the things that are missing or be anxious over whether the turkey will be perfect. Try instead, to be calm, loving and present in the moment.
Oh and on the note of being positive, make a concerted effort to stay away from negative people during this time. You don't need anyone to steal your joy! You really can control your own thoughts and positive affirmations go a long way. I have a typed sheet on my mirror that reminds me of who I am, for me, it is about being a child of God and I focus on His promises but for you it might be more general affirmations like - I am a beautiful woman with a good heart, I am generous, I am loving, I will have a great Christmas day, I treasure time by myself. All the things you want to believe and need to hear, write down and say them aloud to yourself as you start the day.