Christmas is supposed to be an amazing time of the year, full of family and friends, kindness and good cheer. It’s fun, sparkly and festive and a full on celebration of happiness.

This time of year can also be stressful and can be exhausting with the night drawing it, it isn’t always easy to stay focused and energised.

Yule, a fire festival, is a time of celebrating the return of the light. From this point forward, the days will gradually grow longer again.  As we will hardly notice the sun’s light for some time, this festival reminds us to have patience.

Getting ready for celebrating

To prepare and ready you for the celebrations during the festive season over the next 12 days I am going to share with you some thoughts and ideas so you can feel good and enjoy being with friends and family, welcoming warmth, growth, and light along with the new year.

Do bear in mind that good ideas are only good and make a difference if you actually implement them. Try to resist the temptation to say to yourself ‘oh that’s a good idea’, then forget to give it a go. Instead, take one small action each day toward making your holiday season more enjoyable, happier and meaningful this year.

1. Uniqueness

Quit hiding your magic! You are UNIQUE, you are the only one like you. The finger prints you have are one of a kind. Not even identical twins have matching ones. You are the outcome of one egg and around 40 million sperm, any other sperm and you would be a different you. You’re the only one to see colours the way you do.

Your experiences, your environment, your friends and family have shaped you in to being special. Your world is filtered through your thoughts and you see it like no other. How and what you do will never be the same as another’s as you will have put your own creative touch on it.

It’s the combination of everything that you have learned and the things that you have done that make you truly different from everyone else on this planet. Remember not to compare yourself with others as there is no comparison. And anyway you would be matching their outsides (what you see) with your insides (with what you think and feel).

1st day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: For the next 24 hours just notice how many times you compare yourself to others.

2. Selfulness

SELFULNESS, what that? It’s not being selfish (self-interested) caring for yourself at the expense of others. Nor is it being selfless (self-sacrificing) and doing for others at the expense of yourself. It’s about knowing and understanding that you need to take care of yourself so that you can be there for others at your full potential. It is selfulness – fulfilling both.

Take action: Note how many times you say YES when you really mean or want to say NO.

3. Mindfulness

Stay in the now, this MOMENT. Experience all your moments else you’ll miss the joy and happiness that already exists. When things feel like they are bringing you down, come back from the past. When you find yourself worrying about things that haven’t happened yet come back from the future. Now is the only present, the best present there is. What has passed has passed and the future is not revealed.

3rd day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: When you are feeling stressed or anxious, try this mindfulness grounding exercise, then focus on one thing and move forward in the moment.

4. Breathing

We take it for granted though. Not only does it keep you alive, it regulates the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body.

Take a few moments, take a few breaths and relax. Follow your breath as it flows in and out. Do not try to control it. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This technique allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you.

4th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Try this right now, that’s right stop and just breathe, it will only take a few moments. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

5. Power pose

Give yourself a gift, the POWER POSE. Power posing claims that by assuming a “powerful” posture, you can induce positive hormonal and behavioural changes. Give it a go and make your own mind up. Don’t just do it the once though, give it a go for a number of days.

Raise your energy, use your super power. Now how good do you feel?

When you find yourself low on energy, lacking of confidence, feeling anxious, low or stressed, it’s not a good feeling to start the day. Choose to start your day off a positive note, stand proud, strong and assertive. Just like superman or wonder woman.

5th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Share this idea with friends and family right now. If nothing else you’ll all laugh.

6. Affirmations

An AFFIRMATION is a form of auto-suggestion a.k.a. self-hypnosis, in which a statement is made about the future in the present tense, as if it had already happened in the past.

Tell yourself all about the good stuff, and tell yourself often.

You can ‘give yourself’ positive affirmations throughout the day, while awake and alert. Perhaps while brushing your teeth, or walking, or you can even sing your affirmation in the shower. It works best to recite each affirmation five times.

6th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Decide on a phrase that empowers you. Say it over to yourself as many times as you can today. You may want to set a reminder on your phone or place sticky notes around the house.

7. Smiling

Smiling, laughter and humour are the best medicine and I recently researched 9 reasons to smile! I don’t just mean a paltry forced grin and a big beaming smile. Do this whenever you can at whomever you can – even the cat or yourself!

Go on smile, you know you want to. The corners of your mouth are twitching 🙂

7th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Give smiling a go today, see how many people you can make smile back at you as you show them your happy face. Don’t keep it to yourself, send me an email and let me know how you get on.

8. Acts of kindness

Just think how different this world would be if everyone took a few minutes out of their week to do something for someone else. Doesn’t have to be a big thing, something small and simple can literally make someone’s day and improve how we feel.

Give it a go and get that amazing feeling, you know that someone else is going to feel incredible due to your behaviour. Go feel good now!

8th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Quite literally take action.

9. Meditation

It’s strange that it is actually the simplest thing to do and yet it is also incredibly difficult to achieve. It helps you to gain the most amazing results in your life. That’s why it’s called meditation ‘practice’!

No matter how old or how young meditation is simply the best!

9th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Next time you sit with a cuppa, follow the meditation instructions in the link above. If you notice yourself saying you haven’t time that’s even more reason to take 10 minutes for yourself.

10. Selfcare

It’s OK not to feel merry at Christmas or happy on your birthday … Are you just not feeling it today? Give yourself some selfcare and be kind to yourself.

10th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Do what ever it takes for you to feel good now. Remember it can be just about you. Get some ‘you’ time too!

11. Energy dance

Do you have those days where nothing seems to be working? Had a bad day in the office? When you wake up and from the moment you open your eyes it all seems a bit …. Meh? Your energy and mood are at an all-time low, you feel uninspired and just can’t be bothered? Yep me too!

Dance it out. Do it alone or with a friend or two!

11th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: Just do it!

12. Have you got a BIG HAT?

If I am doing something that makes me feel uncomfortable then I know that I am growing and developing. I have an expression that I use that is I am wearing my “big hat and no knickers” today. It gives me courage to “act as if” (big hat) so no one can see my vulnerability (no knickers).

12th day of christmas after a heart attack

Take action: When you’ve got something to do that you’re not particularly confident or sure about take some time to imagine how you would be if it was easy for you. Grab your ‘big hat’ and ‘act as if’ it were true.

How’s it been going for you? What’s new, what’s different? What can you add to my 12 days to feel good now? Let me know in the comments below.