The Dalai Lama says that one’s own happiness is dependent on the happiness of others. In his book Ethics for the New Millennium, the Dalai Lama suggests that happiness does not come from material things but rather from a deep, genuine concern for others’ happiness. In fact, the Dalai Lama contends that focusing on one’s own needs instead of others’ results in negative emotions that prevent true and lasting happiness for the self.

The pandemic and lockdown have taken their toll, it has been tough for many people, in many different ways and every flicker of light at the end of the tunnel is welcome. It’s time to employ some creative tactics to ensure their festive spirit isn’t dampened.

Some favourite tactics:

  • Laughter is a great cure-all – have fun, tell a joke, socially distanced socialising is possible
  • Get outside – going for a walk is exercise and will raise your spirits, carol a cheery greeting to neighbours and enjoy the cavorting of squirrels in the fallen leaves
  • Watch a Christmas movie – Michael recommends ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or ‘Bad Santa’, our editor favours John Huston’s last film ‘The Dead’ which depicts a boisterous dinner table that is a recognisable scene for anyone whose family comes together on holidays.

Maintaining the festive spirit when things haven’t gone to plan is important to many of us. Tesco found that the equivalent of 3.7 million people in the UK have staged a ‘light switch on’ at home when forced to miss the local one.

The holiday season is often difficult. A dizzying array of demands — cooking, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few. Coronavirus variants spreading leave you worrying about your own and your loved ones’ health.

Coping strategies

  • Acknowledge your feelings, sadness, grief and anxiety are part of life. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
  • Reach out to others, it may help to talk to a friend or family member about your concerns. Volunteering is good too, doing something for someone else offers a new perspective.
  • Be realistic – don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough. Change is a constant, embrace it, traditions and rituals can change too; choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.

Chocolate oranges and mince pies are part of the bigger picture but our message is to appreciate those around you, your family, colleagues and friends. Take the time to reflect on what you’ve achieved in the last 12 months, but more importantly make a commitment to stretch yourself, seek out new experiences and go boldly into the New Year.

Dr, Seuss says “Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand”; all at 10Eighty wish you a happy, healthy Christmas.

Liz Sebag-Montefiore

Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a Co-Founder and Director of 10Eighty. With over 15 years of business experience, I have an extensive and impressive blue chip client base. I have worked with numerous firms working in partnership with the client to understand their needs. My current role involves managing relationships with clients, developing new business, and coaching individuals in their career. I really enjoy meeting new people and have strong client relationship and networking skills. I am passionate about coaching as a means to motivate individual performance and believe that proactive career coaching will set direction, bolster employee engagement and self-confidence.


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