The festive season is notoriously stressful for a lot of people. Relationships often come under a lot of pressure and divorce and family lawyers are unfortunately for their clients very busy. There are many reasons why the end of the year is a stressful time in our lives. Many people are under financial pressure, we spend more time with relatives, which is not always a relaxing situation, and people also give themselves deadlines to achieve something or sort their lives out. To top it all, the party season means that we also consume too much alcohol.

A few tips could make it all much easier.

Take time to enjoy the good moments. All too often, we rush to organise and prepare for everything to be perfect. Be part of it, even if it means that some things do not get done. Go for a few walks – research has shown that enjoying Nature is a powerful way to keep depression at bay. And the exercise is beneficial too. Include fun and laughter into your day. And make sure you remember the good times. Paying attention to them so that you can look back on it and have a positive memory of the festive season (instead of one of stress). At the end of the year, you can also write a review of 2013. As if it had already happened. This prompts your unconscious mind to reach these targets. Think it in the positive “I want to be a size 12”, “I want to exercise three times a week”, “I want to get As and Bs for my GCSEs”…

Close your eyes and imagine the results. What will you see, hear, feel when you have achieved your goals? When do you want those goals to be realities? Be realistic. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Plan what you have to do to get there. What strengths do you have already? Maybe determination, family support or anything else that will help you. What other help would you benefit from? Can you get advice or support from people around you? Do you need to change your behaviour to achieve these goals? How can you overcome the difficulties?

Aim for small steps in the right direction, and accept sometimes you may have setbacks. Put those behind you, forgive yourself and carry on towards your goals. Concentrate on your successes because these will help you continue your progress.

Enjoy your achievements, however small. They add up to a lot.

Have an excellent 2013.

Also published in the December issue of The Archer