How to Beat the Post-Christmas Blues

Christmas is such a beautiful, festive time that has a very long build-up yet is over very quickly. It’s not uncommon for Winter weather to already have an impact on mental health which means that the post-Christmas blues couldn’t come at a worse time. Believe it or not though, I’m not here to talk all doom and gloom, I’m here to share some ideas to help lift spirits that work for me.

Get Active.
Red January is the perfect opportunity to raise money for charity and get those muscles moving after having been slumped on the sofa watching Gavin & Stacey and eating Christmas chocs. It’s really up to you what you do, but the premise is getting active every day throughout the month of January in partnership with Mind charity for mental health. Exercise has been proven to improve mental health and I know that personally, I don’t need to buy a bike or a gym membership, even just a walk around my local area can lift my spirits.

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Harness an Attitude of Gratitude.
This one is a monthly occurrence for me but it certainly helps in the times that I’m struggling more with my mental wellbeing. Sitting down each morning or evening to write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for can help you dig deep for reasons to feel a bit more positive.

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Recognise Your Emotions.
It’s absolutely okay to be sad and experience those emotions rather than pack them deep and trying to be positive all the time – that’s exhausting! Sometimes I watch a sad film and just let myself cry because I know that’s what’s needed, other times I might talk to someone I trust because the one thing that I know will help is a listening ear.

How do you combat the post-Christmas blues?

Monthly Gratitude: December

We have not only reached the end of the calendar year but of the decade, can you believe it?! Personally, I’m trying not to put any pressure on it because it’s quite overwhelming for me, I’m just taking each, day, month, year as it comes. It is exciting though, and I hope it’s a healthy and happy year and decade for you!

December is a mixture of emotions for me, and perhaps for others too. I love Christmas and the build up to it, but I struggle with Winter, the short daylight hours and harsh weather conditions.

Gratitude helps me through this. There are always reasons to be grateful and there’s always a way to find them. Here are mine…

1. My Secret Santa gift. I’m pretty quiet at work so to receive a thoughtful and relevant gift from my secret santa was such a pleasant surprise. Gin, candles and a chocolate orange – you can’t go wrong!

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2. The ability to see my family over Christmas. Not everyone has the chance to see family over Christmas, perhaps they live far away or perhaps they’re working. Family is a huge deal for me and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them. My Dad almost had to work but he managed to reshuffle it so that we could all spend the day together and it was the best news when I found out!

3. The cold but dry and bright weather that we’ve had in the last couple of weeks. Rainy days can really lower motivation so when it’s at least dry and there’s a bit of blue sky, it does make it easier to get up and outside!

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4. The blogging community. There are many times that I’ve considered deleting my blog and from the blogging community on social media, I know that I’m not alone. Not only that, I interact with people on Instagram who post uplifting content, real life content to remind each other that it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, and that’s absolutely okay. We may not have met but there are people who really lift me up and the support is truly humbling so I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for reading my posts, interacting with me online, sharing my content and making the blogging world a lovely place to be.

Wishing you all the success and joy in 2020. See you next year!

Blogmas: Twenty-Five Ways to Say Merry Christmas!

1. Merry Christmas! (UK/USA)
2. Nadolig Llawen (Wales)
3. Nollaig Chridheil (Scotland)
4. Nollaig Shona Dhuit (Ireland)
5. Joyeux Noel (France)
6. Feliz Navidad (Spain)
7. Boas Festas (Portugal
8. Buon Natale (Italy)

9. Frohliche Weihnachten (Germany)
10. Il-Milied it-Tajjeb / Festi t-Tajba (Malta)
11. Boldog Karacsonyt (Hungary)
12. Frohe Weihnachten (Austria)
13. Vesele Vanoce / Vesele Vianoce (Czech Republic & Slovakia)
14. Laimingu Kaledu (Lithuania)
15. God Jul (Sweden/Norway)
16. Prettige Kerstdagen (Netherlands)

17. Kala Christougenna (Greece)
18. Milad Mubarak (Morocco)
19. Häid Jõule (Estonia)
20. Hyvää Joulua (Finland)
21. Glædelig Jul (Denmark)
22. Gleðileg jól (Iceland)
23. Milad bayramınız mübarək (Azerbaijan)
24. счастливого Рождества
schastlivogo Rozhdestva (Russia)
25. Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus (Latvia)

Are there any languages you can add to the list? Let me know in the comments. Hope you have a beautiful, heartwarming day!

Blogmas: Twenty-Four Thoughts on Christmas Eve

1. Good MORNING, Christmas Eve!
2. Okay so I still need to make sure I’m in work mode but a Christmas blouse and some tinsel on my desktop never hurt anyone.
3. Hmm, what can I have as a festive breakfast?
4. Maybe something I can put cinnamon in?
5. Okay I can’t decide and time is of the essence so I’ll just treat myself to something from Caffe Nero on my way in.

6. If you can’t treat yourself at Christmas then when can you?
7. Can I put tinsel round my bobble, or is that too much?
8. Maybe too much. Rein it in, P.
9. Rein it in. Reign-deer. Heh. All the Christmas puns.
10. Oh I love seeing the Christmas tree every morning.
11. …Finally all the presents are underneath it too!

12. I cannot wait to see everyone’s faces tomorrow when they open them.
13. Okay, work mode, let’s go. Although, it doesn’t feel like work mode.
14. The office is half empty (or half full, depending on your perspective) and workload is diminishing rapidly.
15. Not that I’m complaining, it means I can plan for January and try to get ahead on my other objectives at work. 16. Personal development time, wahoo.

17. I wonder what I should write as my Out of Office message. “I’m currently (probably) listening to Christmas songs and dancing around the kitchen with a gingerbread biscuit in one hand and a bucks fizz in the other”.
18. Too much information?
19. Okay, maybe let’s not mention the bucks fizz.
20. Ohh I wiiiish it couuuld be Christmaas, every day-ay-ay…

21. Ahh, non-customer-facing jobs are great on Christmas Eve.
22. I can’t wait to go home and whack this playlist on full blast.
23. I think working Christmas Eve gives me some structure, I’d be too excitable if I were at home today.
24. ONE MORE SLEEP!

Blogmas: Twenty-Three Realisations While Putting Up the Christmas Tree

1. The tree stand is integral yet somehow forgotten about for a lot of the time.
2. Pulling out the branches is the least fun part of putting up the tree.
3. It’s lights before tinsel.
4. Lights are like earphones only ten times worse to unravel because they’ve been in the box for a year rather than a day!

5. Though you can just hold the lights and spin the tree rather than walk around the tree.
6. It’s quite a task to make the tree look even, if that’s what you’re going for.
7. People don’t decorate the back?!
8. …Neither do I anymore.
9. People don’t seem too into tinsel these days.
10. Baubles take a pretty long time to hang on the tree if you have to tie the strings first.

11. I never seem to decide between glossy or matte baubles and we just have both.
12. There’s a decision to be made as to whether you’re going for random, family decoration or even, colour co-ordinated.
13. Your floor will not be seen for glitter…
14. …And that’s okay. It’s Christmas!
15. Somehow I still always find gaps in my Christmas tree where there’s no branch or decoration.

16. There are an unnecessary amount of settings for lights. I’m okay with just on and off… Why do we need 19 sequences?
17. Twinkly lights seem to work better in shop windows rather than my lounge.
18. Turns out beads aren’t so in this year.
19. We always end up with leftover decorations because I either don’t use them all or I’ve kept previous colour combination.
20. The tinsel always seems shorter each year somehow! (See point 7 for a resolution to this)

21. Fortunately we have wood flooring but this must make a real dent in carpet.
22. Green wire on the lights is definitely best for a green tree.
23. It isn’t the easiest to make your star straight!

Blogmas: Twenty-Two Items to Pack for a Winter Trip

Last year, we headed to central Wales to a glamping pod and this year we visited a cabin near Bath! We’ve been going on holiday in November and February for our whole 5-year relationship so you could say I’m pretty familiar with a Winter vacay and what you might need to take with you. That said, I’ve had my fair share of forgotten items so a grand ol’ list comes in handy:

1. Hat to keep yer ‘ed warm!

2. Scarf to avoid neck/earache in the cold.

3. Gloves to retain the feeling in your hands.

4. Wellies to keep those tootsies dry.

5. Big winter coat to feel like you haven’t even left your duvet.

6. Moisturiser to keep your face soft and moisturised even in the freezing cold winds.

7. Lip balm because dry/cracked lips can be pretty painful.

8. Thick socks for your tootsies.

9. Winter pyjamas for cosy nights.

10. Umbrella for the inevitable rainfall.

11. Waterproof jacket to save you getting drenched.

12. Hot chocolate sachets for a toasty evening beverage.

13. Swimming costume, in case there’s a hot tub or some thermal baths!
14. Big towel to cosy up in after the hot tub or dry off after the thermal baths.

15. Amazon Firestick to watch something while you’re cosied up in the above towel.

16. Netflix password if you forget the above Firestick or don’t own one.

17. Bluetooth speaker to play some tunes to boogie to while you get ready in the morning.

18. Your Winter boots for walks of course!

19. Plastic bag or bin liner to put your muddy wellies/boots in after you’ve been out for a stroll.

20. Rucksack to keep your snacks in for those long walks.

21. Reusable cup to carry that hot chocolate or warm tea on your stroll!

22. Lemsip/Beechams sachets for those mornings or evenings when you feel a cold coming on.

What would you add to the list for your Winter adventure essentials?

Blogmas: Twenty-One Festive Questions & Answers

1. When do you start your Christmas shopping?

It tends to be November when I start buying the gifts, but I make a list all year round when any family members mention anything they like… It comes in handy when you’ve got a week left until their birthday or Christmas and you’re fresh out of inspiration!

2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?

I certainly have. It snowed last year around Christmas and I have a vivid memory of Dean and I walking to Morrison’s and pausing for a snowball fight. Sums us up really!

3. What is your favourite Christmas film?

I’ll always instinctively say Elf but I do also love The Holiday and Arthur Christmas.

4. Where do you usually spend Christmas Day?

These days, in my flat with Dean, both of our sets of parents, and sometimes my Grandma. As a child, we used to go out for Christmas dinner and then as I’ve got older, we tend to have a home-cooked dinner.

5. Do you prefer a real or fake Christmas tree?

I’ve never had a real Christmas tree but I can’t imagine vacuuming every day round the real tree being ideal.

6. Are you a pro-present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I absolutely love wrapping gifts but feedback in previous years has been that my gifts tend to be quite difficult to open… I think I take it too seriously and they end up being quite a challenge for the recipient…

7. How did you spend last Christmas?

In our flat, home-cooked Christmas dinner, Christmas TV shows on in the background and copious amounts of gin!

8. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Other than Christmas pyjamas which is a tradition I started last year, we don’t really have any. Our parents tend to arrive on Christmas Eve now that we host so I guess that’s one!

9. Do you like eggnog?

I can’t say I’ve ever tried it and after Googling it, I can’t work out whether I like the sound of it or not!

10. Have you ever built a snowman?

I have, yes, only a few years ago. Did it look as picturesque as those in films? It did not. I think it was just snow, a carrot and two stones. For the face, obviously…

11. Who cooks the Christmas meal?

Dean!

12. Do you stay in your PJs or dress up for Christmas?

I don’t dress up as such but I do get dressed.

13. What is your favourite Winter fragrance?

I like Snowella by Zoella, but I can’t say I’ve tried too many to have a good selection to choose from.

14. Which is your favourite Christmas candle?

Yankee Gingerbread, hands down, without question, full stop.

15. What tops your tree?

A Silver glittery star.

16. Is there a tradition that you used to have but not anymore?

I mean, take your pick from day 18! Circling half the Argos catalogue as part of my wishlist, leaving out milk/biscuits/carrots…

17. Do you have a theme for your Christmas tree decoration?

So we had maroon and gold two years ago and then last year we had red and silver. I’ll be keeping it the same this year because it’s really quite expensive to buy new each year…

18. What’s your favourite Christmas carol?

Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls are two of my favourite classics.

19. What did you used to do at school for Christmas that you wish you could do in the workplace?

Watch Christmas films all day every day for about a week before Christmas? Break up for Christmas about a week in advance? There are quite a few things I’d love to exist in the workplace!

20. If you could rename a reindeer, what would you call it?

Dennis.

21. If you could spend Christmas in any other country, city, town or village, where would it be?

I’d love to spend it in New York. When I visited in September 2017, there were lights everywhere so I can’t even imagine how magical it looks in December!